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EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Every Picture Tells a Story is a lively, informative look at the secrets behind eight masterpieces. Works by da Vinci, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Giorgione, Caravaggio, and van Eyck take on new and deeper meanings in this engaging eight-part series. Bonus features include a 20-page viewer's guide and exclusive extras that take the educational experience beyond the screen. With his characteristic wit, noted U.K. art critic Waldemar Januszczak turns his educated eye to eight masterpieces of European painting, unraveling the secrets behind each. What did Gainsborough intend for the conspicuous void in Mr and Mrs Andrews? Why did Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa capture the world's imagination? How did Manet shock French society with his Le d‚jeuner sur l'herbe (Luncheon on the Grass)? From New York City to Paris to Rome, Januszczak searches out the art experts, literary and artistic allusions, and historical records - not to mention juicy gossip - to expose long-held secrets within the gilded frames.

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Explore the secrets behind some of the world’s most famous paintings

With characteristic wit, art critic Waldemar Januszczak turns his educated eye to eight masterpieces of European painting, unraveling the secrets behind each. What did Gainsborough intend for the conspicuous void in Mr and Mrs Andrews? Why did Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa capture the world’s imagination? How did Manet shock French society with his Le déjeuner sur l’herbe ("Luncheon on the Grass")? From New York City to Paris to Rome, Januszczak searches out the art experts, literary and artistic allusions, and historical records--not to mention juicy gossip--to expose long-held secrets within the gilded frames.

Works by Botticelli, Rembrandt, Giorgione, Caravaggio, and van Eyck also take on new and deeper meanings in this lively, engaging eight-part series.

BONUS FEATURES

  • 20-page viewer’s guide includes key points, discussion questions, avenues for further learning, featured artwork, and more.
  • "The Rest of the Story": Stories behind the story
  • Artist biographies
  • Exclusive web extras

Writer and filmmaker Waldemar Januszczak has been the art critic for The Sunday Times (U.K.) since 1992. He has twice been honored as Critic of the Year by the Press Association of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

View an Excerpt from the Guide Included with Every Picture Tells a Story


Every Picture Tells A Story


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Athena
  • DVD Release Date: June 2, 2009
  • Run Time: 187 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O7R768
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,631 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 13, 2009
Format: DVD
These 8 episodes of "Every Picture Tells a Story" peer deeply into masterpiece art works in a fresh way. Superior to anything I (and my wife) have seen. My M.S. & B.S. art degrees and over 2 decades of art teaching helps me grant this new Athena DVD set 5 colorful stars. This DVD set also rates "2 paint brushes UP-WAY UP."

THE PRESENTER, Waldemar Januszczak, U.K., is an art critic who never learned to be sophisticatedly boring, dull, & lifeless. He will even make you laugh by finding a lighter side to masterpieces of art. He provides his opinion alongside the findings of other authorities, so you can decide for yourself. He does this in a manner somewhat similar to a European travelogue. Enjoyable. Scenic.

Individual episodes are less than 25 minutes, a perfect length for classroom use at universities and High Schools. 1 or 2 episodes touch on language and/or sexual topics that might want to be previewed and opted upon by "conservative" schools. Probably just a PG rating if it were to be rated, however.

INTERDISCIPLINARY TEACHING: Each painting episode touches not only on the art itself, but on history, geography, and literature related to the piece. This is true educational integration, highly sought by state-of-the-art school curriculum.

WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE?
"Mr and Mrs Andrews", Gainsborough, England. A mystery of the unfinished masterpiece.
"The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp", Rembrandt, Dutch. The artist's haunting of death. Painting is compared to TVs "E.R."
"The Tempest", Giorgione, Venice. Giorgione means 'Big George'. This is a mysterious painter of even more mysterious art. Is Homer's "Odyssey" a clue?
"The Birth of Venus", Botticelli, Florence. Venus' voluptuous vulnerability vexing the virile.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Leonap on September 6, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This collection of famous paintings is a series of fascinating lessons by Waldemar Januszczak who has a marvelous sense of humor. Without being pompous, he discusses each painting as well as the painter's life, and shows us things we may never have otherwise seen on our own. I love art dvds and have purchased many, just for pleasure, and this is one of my favorites. I wish there were more in the series as 8 is only a glimpse into the whole art world. The dvd quality is very clear, audio and video. Highly recommended if you enjoy art in small doses.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Craig Betteridge on September 9, 2009
Format: DVD
About the only thing I'm confused about is did Simon Schama do "Simon Schama's Power of Art" before or after Januszczak's "Every Picture Tells A Story"? Did Schama attempt to copycat Januszczack's work or was Januszczack's work a how-to to Schama?

In the end, they are both good but Januszack 'Every Picture Tells a Story' is masterful and leaves Simon (never met a simile I didn't like) Schama in the dust.

Insightful and compelling.

I'd like to see a lot more from Mr. Januszczack.

[...]
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Daniel on December 14, 2013
Format: DVD
This series was a disappointment, so I'm writing a review to provide some balance in contrast with glowing reviews from other viewers. Waldemar Januszczak is not an eloquent speaker; he has a coarse manner of over-emphasizing every second word he says, and this is very grating after a few minutes. Furthermore, I found his manner of providing explanations and theorizing quite arrogant (he often says things like, "art historians have been pondering this for centuries, but I KNOW what it means"). That said, I did learn interesting tidbits of information about the origins of the works in question and the artists' lives, so the series is not entirely without merit.

Production values are rather low -- there is jittery camera-work throughout. During one scene in particular, featuring Titian's Concert Champêtre, the camera actually bobs up and down!

In lieu of this series, I would heartily recommend Civilisation (Kenneth Clark), The Shock of the New (Robert Hughes), Power of Art (Simon Schama), and The Private Life of a Masterpiece. All of these documentary series on art history are brilliant and blow Every Picture Tells a Story out of the water.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mike on August 29, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Waldemar Januszczak goes far beyond the typical art critic's analysis of paintings and brings both them and the artists to life in a way that you will remember. I have seen many art history DVDs and they are too often dry and dull. Too often, the art historian or critic will point out the obvious features of a painting (pyramidal composition, light/shadow, formation of geometric shapes within, etc,) with minimal references to meanings and ignore the real story of the painting. This series shows the depth of understaning that Januszczak brings to the field and is able to impart to the viewer. I didn't find his presentation at all egotistical, but if so, he deserves to feel that way because he backs it up.
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Worth the price - Just for the analysis of " The Arnolfini Wedding," by Van Eyck. Love is one of the most elusive concepts...and its depiction is actually quite rare in art...The narrator explains why this picture is one of the great love stories of all time. Romance, seduction, eroticism, the kiss, beauty, virility, touch, excitement, desire...those we have seen again and again from ancient times to today. But this oil painting tells a different story...and the clear explanation by this educated critic is convincing ...to me. [I won't spoil the experience by revealing the secrets]

Other DVD's created by Waldemar Januszczak that are particularly worthwhile are his analysis of The Dark Ages, Picasso, and my favorite...on Gauguin.
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