Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Simon Schama's Power of Art

DVD | Box Set

4.6 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
New from Used from
$14.01 $4.98
(Jun 19, 2007)

Unlimited Streaming with Amazon Prime
Unlimited Streaming with Amazon Prime Start your 30-day free trial to stream thousands of movies & TV shows included with Prime. Start your free trial

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Beautiful. Fascinating. Emotional. Art is all of the above. But only a few are powerful.

Explore the dramatic moments behind the creation of eight masterpieces of painting, sculpture and design.

Special Features:
Audio Commentaries with Simon Schama, Clare Beavan, David Belton & Andy Serkis
Interview with Simon Schama


Watching Simon Schama's Power of Art is like taking an Ivy League course in art appreciation, with the folksy but knowledgeable Schama as guide and interpreter. A collection of hour-long films on eight seminal artists and their groundbreaking works, which originally aired on British television, this boxed set is as entertaining as it is enlightening, with Schama doing for Western art what, say, Steve Irwin did for Australian natural history. Eight artists are featured--Caravaggio, Bernini, Rembrandt, David, Turner, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Rothko--and each portrait of the artist weaves biography and historical context to help explain the true power of his works.

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

Special features


Product details

  • Actors: Simon Schama
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 19, 2007
  • Run Time: 400 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000NTPG84
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,440 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
    If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

  • Learn more about "Simon Schama's Power of Art" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Read reviews that mention

Top customer reviews

February 11, 2016
Format: DVD|Verified Purchase
review imagereview imagereview image
Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
September 25, 2013
Format: DVD|Verified Purchase
Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
August 14, 2007
Format: DVD|Verified Purchase
Comment| 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
March 28, 2012
Format: DVD|Verified Purchase
Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Most recent customer reviews