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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
Wonderful series. Simon Schama has the ability to make the artists and times come alive. Highly recommend for artists of all type and art historians.Published 2 months ago by Patricia Solari
Great! We watched our friend's videos and bought this for our art-teacher daughter. She mentioned the artists selected for these dvds were excellent choices.Published 3 months ago by Mary Harnishfeger
Very accessible. Very dramatic. Slick production. Everything was packaged carefully and arrived on time. Very happy with my purchase!Published 4 months ago by Brian
AS an artist, love art history and Simon Schama brings it to lifePublished 5 months ago by Barbara M.
What powerful stories about artists from the past. Great dramatizations. I will never forget the characters depicted in these stories!Published 6 months ago by Evelyn D. Nitzberg
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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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