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Simon Schama's Power of Art 

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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User Reviews

 
The Caravaggio Episode is Actually All You Need
1 August 2016 | by See all my reviews

Simon Schama's introduction to Caravaggio -- who he was, what he was doing, how other people felt about that -- is sometimes rudimentary, but truly hypnotic. The hypnosis is only broken when Schama looks closely at a painting (his looking NOT being rudimentary) and says something super gut-busting with his weird cadences and intimacy.

For instance, in the Caravaggio ep, Schama dives into The Musicians, a piece featuring a cupid, a boy sadly tuning a stringed thing and baby Caravaggio himself, at the back of what Schama calls "this tight little group". Schama's ensuing analysis of the painting includes the lines "The lead singer is crying his eyes out, and he's just tuning up," and "(intruder) Oh yes, four youths in a closet. Exuse me, so sorry, don't mean to intrude! (tight little group) No no, come on in, darling, pull up a cushion, join us, we're just rehearsing." All of this is said in the most coy VO anyone has ever produced. He calls the painting "fleshy" and "claustrophobic". Really he just crushes it.

This series is worth watching for the re-enactments (many, many good re-enactments), but worth suggesting for Schama's magnetism and keen observations. We should probably make sure this is finding the farthest reaches of space. 9/10!

Update: I know some viewers are hot and cold on his unfolding of Bernini, but Schama's comments on the folds of The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa ARE enjoyable and that ep. IS dope.

Update 2: He calls Rembrandt "Mr. Clever Clogs"!

Update 3: Make it to the end of this series and you get to actually watch someone reenact Simon Schama himself as a 20 y/o ruffian staring at a Rothko. This man is a genius.


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