In each episode historian Simon Schama treats, in his own erudite, unconventional and somewhat socially engaged style, a work of art from a great master. He concentrates not just on the art... See full summary »
The 18 original 30-minute episodes are consolidated to 9 one-hour episodes on the U.S. DVD: (1) "The Classical Ideal": The origins of Western art are traced to ancient Greece and Rome. (2) "A White Garment of Churches": Romanesque and Gothic churches and the effect of monasticism and pilgrimage on art and architecture. (3) "The Early Renaissance in Italy and the North". (4) "The High Renaissance": Includes Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. (5) "Realms of Light": The Baroque period, including Bernini, Caravaggio, Velasquez, Rembrandt. (6) "An Age of Reason, an Age of Passion": Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism. (7) "Realists, Impressionists, Post-Impressionists". (8) "Into the Twentieth Century" ; Fauves, Cubists, Surrealists, etc. (9) "In Our Own Time": Post-war period, Abstract Expression, Post-Modernism, etc. Pollock, Warhol, Oldenburg, etc. Internationalization in the 1970s and 1980s. Written by
Fiona Kelleghan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is an excellent series, covering the main art movements of Europe; it begins with the Greeks and Romans, moves through the medieval development and on to the Renaissance. The material on the modern movements is just as authoritative. Michael Wood is an enthusiastic and engaging host, and there is a good selection of experts presenting material in their areas of expertise.
The material is both accurate and comprehensive. Highly recommended. It is useful both as an introduction to the various periods and for more serious students; when I was teaching Art History, I used several episodes in the classroom.
Although there is no substitute for seeing the actual works of art, documentary series like this can be both useful and stimulating. It is available on VHS (try Amazon) but as far as I am aware not on DVD yet.
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