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The segment on Van Gogh is, as expected, emotional, yet Schama convincingly portrays Van Gogh as not consumed by madness, but fighting off the episodes with painting. Van Gogh painted one of his most evocative works, Wheat Field With Crows, which even his brother, Theo, recognized was about to put his brother on the artistic map. Yet, as Schama points out, within weeks, Van Gogh had killed himself. "Now why would he want to do that?" Schama muses--and then proceeds to narrate the tormented tale of the answer. Along the way, the viewer gains new appreciation for Van Gogh's signature works, including his famous sunflowers. "Technically, these are still lives," Schama says, "but there's nothing still about them... the sunflowers [seem to be] organisms landing violently from a burning sun." If the reenactments of the artists' lives are a bit overdone, it's forgivable, since the cumulative effect, in an hour, is a new appreciation of the work and the man.
Extras include frank and very funny commentaries by Schama and his co-producer, and lots of behind-the-scenes dish on how certain scenes were achieved. The teeming French opera scene in the "David" episode, for instance, was cast using just 20 French extras and then the rest created by CGI--"the scene works better, really, than [the film] King Kong," Schama says with delight. --A.T. Hurley
This series covers beautiful art with excellent storytelling and great photography.
Schama, Columbia University, manages to do is to provide us with real insights into the artists he focuses on, thus illuminating each work he focuses on in a new way.
Schama presents many of the artists' works with telling detail and background information so that this is art history, world history, and biography.
I am sorry to rain on this parade of superlative reviews of this DVD series on eight major artists, but I was disappointed. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Mole N. Willows
I bought this for my wife and she loves it. She is an oil painter and teacher of the same. I found it interesting even though it is out of my usual interests.Published 3 months ago by A. L. Owens Jr.
I really liked this series when it first came out. Now my kids are older and I am sharing it with them.Published 6 months ago by Christopher Fountas
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|Simon Schama's Power of Art - David||
This is monterverdi's lamento Della ninfa (sorry this in the Bernini episode) it is nisi dominus (cum dederit) by vivaldi in the david episode. Also the opening music in the David episode is the masonic funeral music by Mozart. I love this episode!!!
Aug 13, 2011 by Chris Ke Lin | See all 3 posts
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