Millions of years ago incredible forces ripped apart the Earth's crust creating our seven continents - each with its own distinct climate, its own distinct terrain and its own unique animal... See full summary »
After the De Rotschild family brings two portraits painted by Rembrandt on the market, the Dutch Rijksmuseum tries to acquire them. The museum began raising funds and talked to politicians ... See full summary »
Eric de Rothschild,
Nine-part series telling the story of art from the dawn of human history to the present day, for the first time on a global scale. It is now nearly half a century since Kenneth Clark's ... See full summary »
A great painter's life, loves and art in under three hours
This is a very good three-part documentary about the life of Rembrandt in Copenhagen. A lot of the narration is done by an actor we never see, who represents Rembrandt himself. The other presenters are art experts and art history professors. They all obviously love Rembrandt's body of work, but still they present a balanced telling of his life, warts and all as the saying goes. The narration by the Rembrandt character is so detailed and intimate that I was convinced the writer of the script must have worked from Rembrandt's letters or a journal, but I could not find a mention of any such source material.
A lot of the other information we learn about the artist is from sources from the city archives and the like, concerning birth and death notices and many other administrative documents. It is funny, but at the beginning of the first episode, they describe a theft of one of his paintings from an art gallery in Boston, but after they launch into his life story the theft is never mentioned again. But I looked it up and apparently it was never recovered. How sad that you or I would let a cashier in a store know if they give us too much change, so that their register wouldn't be wrong at the end of the day and cost them a few dollars, but somewhere out there are billionaires who are willing to pay millions for stolen art even though they can never show it to friends or family. The rich are different, aren't they?
The documentary is interesting but it is a quiet program. I found I dozed off near the end of the first episode. It wasn't boring, but the soft tone acted as a lullaby for me. I backed up seven minutes and resumed watching it when I was more rested. Perhaps a more vigorous soundtrack would have kept me from zoning out. This is why they don't have easy chairs in elevators with Muzak playing! Their interpretations of the artwork was fascinating and informative. Having these experts explore the meanings for us was like the difference between just reading Shakespeare yourself or having the plays deconstructed by literary professors. I feel like I know Rembrandt much better.
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