The Private Life of a Masterpiece (TV Series 2001– ) Poster

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10/10
Very Informative, simply brilliant!
MaterSuspiriorum17 June 2007
This show is definitely one of the best on our screens which deals with art. It is rich in detail, and not only incorporates information about the artworks but analyzes them and provides interviews with professional people who provide their own interpretation of the artworks. This information gives the artworks a whole new dimension and really makes us look at them not as just paint on canvas or simply stone, but as deep spiritual works of pure genius. For example, in the episode dealing with Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Grande Jatte in 1886, it transforms the women who is fishing to the left of the masterpiece into a prostitute 'fishing' for business. It is truly very informative and does not bore. This show also provides great information on the artist involved, delving deep into the person's personal life. It also tells of the history the work experienced. Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper had stones thrown at it and the apostles eyes were scrapped off with knives by French troops. Visually the show is great. The image is very clear and precise. This show should not be missed. I'd have to give it 10 out of 10.
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8/10
Fascinating look at great painting
Bob Taylor21 September 2006
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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