The Great Artists series of DVDs chronicles the lives, times, and works of the artists whose genius has captivated the art world for generations. Informative and entertaining, the series highlights important events in each artist's life, explores their stylistic trademarks, and provides detailed explanations of their techniques. Each DVD includes expert commentary and analyses from leading authorities, art historians, and scholars, along with new location footage and atmospheric
The programs in the Romantics and Realists series feature an
DVD. 50 minutes each.
Courbet — He loved to present himself as a
Delacroix — For many lovers of Western Art, the 1830 painting Liberty Leading the People remains the ultimate image of the Romantic Age. A contemporary, revolutionary canvas full of color and movement, it remains the masterpiece of the Frenchman Eugene Delacroix — a painter deeply aware of the Romantic spirit of the times. He was a friend of the composers Chopin and Berlioz, and was also a huge admirer of the tragic figure Byron. It was Byron's work that inspired The Death of Sardanapalus, one of the most abandoned and violent images of Romantic Art.
Friedrich — One of the key ideas that underpinned the Romantic Age was the notion of the sublime, and no Romantic painter captured the sublime more effectively than the German landscapist Caspar David Friedrich. A deeply pious, somber man, Friedrich hardly ever left his homeland, and his genius did not reveal itself until he was in his 30s. When it did, the result was landscape painting like nothing ever seen before. Rich in symbolism, Friedrich's landscapes captured the spiritual power of nature, making it easy for viewers to be both overwhelmed and attracted by his painstakingly detailed scenes of silence. In Friedrich's sublime natural landscape, humanity is small and mortal, as paintings like Abbey of the Oakwoods confirm. Sadly, Friedrich's own life was blighted by bereavement, torment, sickness, and obscurity. By the time of his death, he was all but forgotten. It is only now that his huge contribution to Romantic painting can be appreciated.
Goya — In 1792, a famous Spanish portraitist fell victim to an illness that left him permanently deaf. This was the event that proved to be the turning point in the career of Francisco Jose Goya y Lucientes. Trapped in his silent world, Goya's portraiture climbed to new heights of achievement, but it was his increasingly dark images that are most appreciated today. The sheer horror of much of Goya's later work was unprecedented in Western Art, and it is these paintings and etchings that secure his status as a giant of the Romantic Age. As this fascinating program reveals, Goya's own time gave him additional inspiration for his images of terror. The bloody war between his homeland and Napoleonic France inspired The Third of May, the greatest canvas of his career. The continuing existence of the Spanish Inquisition also provoked Goya to create timeless works. Not even his own persecution by the Inquisition's officers could prevent Goya from painting masterpieces into the 9th decade of a remarkable life.
Rossetti — Dante Gabriel Rossetti was one of the most enigmatic of all English painters. Born into a brilliant family of Italian exiles, he announced his ambitions at the age of 20. As the key member of the
Whistler — Renowned for his witty banter, the work of American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler led many critics to believe him to be the forerunner of abstract art. A talented engraver who produced numerous etchings, lithographs, and
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