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Landmarks of Western Art: Romanticism - A Journey of Art History Across The Ages
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As the strict classical disciplines of the eighteenth century began to fade, two very different movements came to prominence: from Constable and Turner influenced by nature, through to the stirring works of Goya and Gericault. This episode explores the genius of works such as The Third of May and The Haywain.
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The video begins by introducing the viewer to the concept of romanticism - and it wasn't what it sounds like. They did a good job of what comprises romantic art and when it began to rise to prominence. The DVD begins with the French romantic painters such as Théodore Géricault by looking at "The Raft Of The Medusa" as well as later works such as "Liberty Leading The People" by Victor Eugène Delacroix.
British romantic painters tended to focus more on landscapes such as "The Haywain" by John Constable as well as his "The Cornfield". The German Caspar Friedrich also focused on landscapes such as "Wanderer Above the Mist". The DVD covers Francisco Goya both in his lighter period and darker period with illustrations as well as paintings such as "The Third Of May 1808".
The experts interviewed on the DVD varied in their ability to get their points across to the viewer. They were generally good, but there was one I found difficult to understand and one that was so animated that she was really distracting! Generally, the DVD did a good job of explaining to the layman what romantic art is and the romantic aspects of the works they showed the viewer.
I do have a criticism: They focused on a relatively small number of artists and paintings and I would have liked to have seen more works and a wider sampling of artists. Even so, I enjoyed the DVD and learned a lot. I think what they covered, they covered well.
I have only minor criticisms and think it was a worthwhile purchase for me. I will certainly consider buying more DVDs in this series. I give this DVD four stars.
A lot of these works on artists are very British, being made there and having their experts interviewed. The host narrator seemed to be American, however, unless he was faking an American accent. The documentary shows a virtual, computer-generated art museum with Romantic works. This was impressive in that some art docs can be dull and lifeless.
There's a part of me that wishes this work would have tied the art more to Romantic literature, but maybe that would have been too broad a scope. I was surprised that these artists often painted works to memorialize tragedies of that time period. The work says either David or Delacroix painted something after reading Byron. I'm used to hearing of Brits being inspired by those on the European continent, but I hear about the reverse much less often. This work covered artists from Germany and Spain, not just France and Britain.
In the work, often images are not fully painted out. You have to put energy into figuring out what the brush strokes represent. In this way it reminded me much of Impressionism, but that thought is never brought up by the narrator or the experts.