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|Gallery of the Masters: Edgar Degas DVD|
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Get to know the greats in the Gallery of the Masters DVD series!
Edgar Degas - Edgar Degas, the son of an Italian banker, had stopped studying law to become a painter. He was a brilliant portraitist, but even more than this he loved to paint the dynamics of movement in horse races, to sketch the milliners on the boulevards, to depict with his paintbrush or pastel crayons the young women who worked as laundresses and water-carriers. Like no other artist, he captured the fleeting moment of movement. His radiantly colorful pastels breathe the air of the stage, testify to the glory and the toil, to the aesthetics and the effort of a dancer's everyday routine. This documentary follows the trail of the painter through nocturnal Paris at the turn of the century, in the Paris Opera and the concert cafés. 30 minutes.
El Greco - In 1575, a foreigner came to live within the walls of Toledo, the spiritual center of Spain. He came from Greece, from the island of Crete: His name was Kyriakos Theotocopoulos. The people of Toledo called him El Greco, the Greek. At the court of the Spanish King El Greco had had no success, but the high dignitaries of Toledo, the bastion of Spanish Catholicism, liked his paintings with their sombre, passionate religiousness. Influenced by the icon painting in his home country and by his years in Venice as a pupil of Titian, El Greco developed his unmistakable, expressive style: the elongated figures in his pictures, painted in flickering forms and lines and the dramatic character of his landscapes became his hallmark. This unique program presents these contrasts in impressive shots and draws a new picture of this artist, whose baffling modernity has still not lost any of its fascination. 30 minutes.
Francisco Goya - This informative documentary traces the development of the artist Francisco Goya from a painter of serene rococo idylls to the creator of surrealistic visions of the subconscious. Goya revealed behind the masks and facades of his contemporaries the demonic nature of humanity, thus destroying the baroque idea of "the divinity of man". Goya began as a cartoon painter, creating designs for the royal tapestry manufactory. Soon, however, he became the most sought-after portraitist of Madrid's high society and was appointed court painter to the King. His paintings breathed the "new bourgeois spirit of the Enlightenment." At the age of 46 Goya suffered a stroke while painting. For months he was paralyzed, and he remained deaf for the rest of his life. Yet the loss of his hearing seemed to accentuate his artistic perception, for it was at this point in his life that his genius came to fruition, probing the depths of humankind as if with x-ray eyes. Not until the 20th century did art once again link up with Goya's expressive surrealistic visions. 30 minutes.
Leonardo da Vinci -The man from the Tuscan village of Vinci is regarded as the universal genius of the Renaissance, although he only completed a few works. He was an architect and engineer, yet there is not a single building based on his plans, he was a sculptor, yet virtually none of his sculptures are extant. And only a few portraits and frescoes testify to the brilliance of the painter Leonardo. Nevertheless, the outstanding quality of his works, the diversity of his ideas, observations and fantasies still endow the artist and scientist with the title of "Universal Genius." This informative and entertaining film follows Leonardo's trail from Florence, where he becomes a pupil of Verrocchio, via Milan, where he spends the longest time of his life, to Amboise Castle in the Loire, following the invitation of the French King Francis I. In his luggage the old painter took with him the Mona Lisa – the picture that was to make him world-famous. This program also features close ups of many of Leonardo's masterpieces filmed on location. 30 minutes.
Michelangelo Buonarroti - Princes and popes courted him and quarreled over him: the brilliant sculptor, painter and architect of the Italian High Renaissance - Michelangelo Buonarroti. This documentary presents the life and work of the artist, retracing his embroilment in the upheavals of his time. The Renaissance Man: plaything of the popes, protégé of the Medici. Like them he was subject to the vicissitudes of power – and he was a man driven to titanic works. He aspired constantly to achieve the seemingly impossible, and this he did with unimaginable perseverance. With each work he opened up new worlds of artistic expression: in the frescoes of the Sistine chapel, as in the design of the magnificent dome of St. Peter's Basilica. Also, his poems reveal that he was a difficult loner in search of solitude. Filmed entirely on location, this informative and entertaining program features close ups of many of Michelangelo's greatest works. 30 minutes.
Paul Cèzanne - Paul Cèzanne revolutionized art. He made painting an end in itself, maintained that art was a harmony in parallel with nature. Born in Aix-en Provence in the south of France in 1839, he is revered now, but it was not always so. It was the surrounding countryside that served as part of the inspiration for his colorful palettes. He used glasses and fruits in still life paintings to capture the precision of shapes. Form and color were fused together. Many of his paintings were often panned critically, but were appreciated more in his later years. This is the story of one of Modern Painting's most influential artists. 30 minutes.
Peter Paul Rubens - His legacy consists of over two thousand pictures – an imposing and contradictory life's work, with which Rubens, the disciplined artist and diplomat, transposed the achievements of Renaissance painting into the Baroque age and built a bridge between Italian and Flemish art. The film interprets the great altar paintings, the portraits and self portraits and the famous mythological and historical portrayals: in his mythological pictures Rubens incorporated his experiences of human passions and the dynamics of nature. In the Medici cycle for the Queen of France the painter's baroque feeling for life is expressed with the greatest clarity: political activity appears as theatrum mundi, as a portrayal of a sensibly ordered world. Life can succeed, evil can be overcome: this is Rubens' message which he expressed in his art. 30 minutes.
William Turner - William Turner is one of the most important English painters of the Romantic Movement. He was unique in placing great significance on the atmospheric content of his portrayals. In his later works his subjects virtually dissolve into spaces defined by color. No one before Turner had placed such an intrinsic value on light and color, thus anticipating an aspect of modern painting. The unique film documents the life and work of the artist in his various phases; from his humble origin in the narrow alleys of London, to the triumphs of an artist who succeeded in becoming a professor of the Royal Academy. This informative and entertaining program also showcases Turner's many journeys: he was traveling almost incessantly his entire life. Who was this painter, whose later pictures developed an artistic freedom which increasingly liberated itself from the prevailing style? This program seeks answers to this question at original sites in London, Venice and Rome and tries to portray the psychological suspense of an art which, in its radicalism, was far ahead of its time. 30 minutes.