"The Third of May 1808" by Francisco Goya (1746-1828) commemorated the execution of Spanish revolutionaries by Napoleon's invading French Army. The 1814 painting is placed in its historical context ...
The Golden Age of Dutch Art boasted Johannes Vermeer (1632-75), whose showpiece, "The Art of Painting" (c. 1666-68), is critically examined and analyzed. The painting's planned prominent role in the ...
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 »
This 4 part series describes the various artists, their style, their likes and travails of the day. Introduced by an amusing Waldemar Januzczak in an easy to watch production. Each part has... See full summary »
Sir Kenneth Clarke guides us through the ages exploring the glorious rise of civilisation in western man. Beginning with the bleakness of the dark ages to the present day, we consider ... See full summary »
The BBC has made a number of episodes featuring the greatest artworks of Western culture in this arts series. I will write about the Demoiselles d'Avignon by Picasso, one of the groundbreaking paintings of the last century. The narrator takes us through Picasso's youth and rivalry with Matisse, then relates the determination that led the painter to spend months in a dank, filthy basement studio working on the painting. When it was finished, in 1907, it was seen only by Picasso's friends and associates. It took nine years for Les Demoiselles to be exhibited in public, when it was given its name by André Salmon (Picasso had always called it Le Bordel).
The brief interviews with art historians John Richardson and John Golding are very enlightening: Picasso's fear of syphilis, his worsening relations with Fernande Olivier, who was his mistress at the time, his fascination with African folk art (and his great unwillingness to admit this influence). Fifty minutes very well spent.
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