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 »
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2006  
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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 Himself - Presenter / ... (8 episodes, 2006)
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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 history as such, but mainly on the relationship between the work and the historical context of its creation, as this touches the significance of and vision on the subject as well as the life of the artist: where and when did he produce it, why, for which destination... Written by KGF Vissers

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20 October 2006 (UK)  »

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Nearly unbearable
30 June 2007 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Whose Van Gogh is more nauseous, Kirk Douglas's or Andy Serkis's? Oh dear lord, how I wish I would have stopped watching this episode of Simon Schama's series, much as I stopped watching "Lust for Life"! How long before I can again look at one of his paintings without thinking of one of the worst examples of British overacting ever recorded? On top of this despicable performance, we are subjected to frenetic editing and oppressive sound effects. Deafening slurping of paint, pounding the canvas with the brush--I know painting and this is not painting. This is cheap pastiche after the video in the movie "The Ring". What a grotesque version of what was surely a beautiful-beautiful thing. Lastly and most reprehensibly, Mr. Schama takes advantage of the ignorant by presenting subjective opinion as fact. Van Gogh's Wheatfield is really the first piece of modern art? You say it so confidently it must be true--gimme a break. This is art history gone horribly wrong.


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