Simon Schama's Power of Art Poster

Episode List


Season 1

21 Oct. 2006
The violent life and tumultuous times of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610), revolutionary artist of the Counter Reformation and Baroque era, whose paintings forever changed religious art.
27 Oct. 2006
Italian sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) becomes the hottest artist in Rome.
3 Nov. 2006
The rise and fall of Holland's great painter Rembrandt van Rijn (1606 - 1669) is detailed.
10 Nov. 2006
This time Simon rather uses the works of the iron-monger's son, orphaned at 7 by a duel and trained by a famous relative, Boulanger, in the art of 'bonbonniere' paintings to the taste of the aristocracy, as illustration of a fairly elaborate sketch of the road to and trough the French Revolution rather then the other way around. David incurred a permanent jaw-mark which marked his face, speech and social skills, rather estranging him from his patrons and the Royal Academy, despite his ultimate success. After expensive French support to the American Revolution ...
17 Nov. 2006
Simon argues The Slave ship, one of 7 of his works causing a scandal at the 1840 Royal Academy exhibition, is typical of Turner's feeling from experience, as low-born Covent garden boy affected by family tragedy, for the common man, even prominent in his epic works, deliberately unpolished for grim effect. Despite his membership of the Royal Academy his appearance remained deliberately rough, his later life darkened by disease, loss of close one and a pain-killer which enhanced his morbid imagination. The sea, with uncut fluent lines typical for him, hence his ...
24 Nov. 2006
Van Gogh
Simon sketches how Vincent Van Gogh was foremost a world-improver, who cared for the common man, working as a 'lay priest' among but got fired by the Dutch Protestant establishment at age 30, and only then turned to painting as a means of continuing his social strife for the poor, while depending on his brother, who became an art gallery-keeper in Paris, for his meager livelihood, as his works' dark themes and colors didn't sell in the colorful, light-focused age of impressionism, yet made his mark on it after a visit to Paris, without becoming fashionable till long ...
1 Dec. 2006
Simon sketches how Pablo Picasso, the Andalusian (south Spanish) hedonistic king of Paris' bohemian painting scene, who for decades deliberately created pioneering modern works, far from the classical traditions of realistic resemblance (in favor of cubism) and themes serving grandeur or devotion, nor aiming at beauty, while remarkably oblivious of contemporary political context, came to paint Guernica, his giant 1937 evocation of the horror of war in the German Luftwafe (airforce) total destruction of the Basque village of that name. Since Picasso was thematically ...
8 Dec. 2006
Mark Rothko, the Anglicized name of a Russian Jewish family which immigrated while he was a child to escape the abusive Cossacks, shortly before father's dead, initially followed the European painting tradition, but felt it failed to express the most meaningful emotions. After decades he developed an abstract style and got the reputation of the US's foremost painter by the 1950s, enough to be commissioned without contest a gigantic work for the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram company's New York skyscraper, worth millions, which he ultimately turned down ...

 Season 1 

See also

TV Schedule

Contribute to This Page