Spend 1,000 Minutes With the Masters

BBC Video is finally distributing in the US the complete series of its hit TV show (a hit for art history buffs anyway), The Private Life of a Masterpiece. If you don’t already know this show’s gimmick, here goes: take the most famous painting you can think of by one of the masters (e.g. Da Vinci or Munch). Then, learn all sorts of interesting things like on Da Vinci’s The Last Supper one restorer repainted the Apostle Thomas’ hand as a bread roll; or, for instance, in Munch’s The Scream, that tiny lettering in the sky is actually Norwegian for “This can only have been painted by a madman.” Incidentally, according to the series Edvard Munch created 105 versions of this famous painting. No wonder he thought he was mad.

Anyway, as stated above the series is now available in the US, and you can buy it here.

The artists and their works included in the episodes are as follows:

Sandro Botticelli – La Primavera
Salvador Dali – Christ of St. John of the Cross
Leonardo Da Vinci – The Last Supper
Edgar Degas – Little Dancer Aged 14*
Eugene Delacroix – Liberty Leading the People
Piero Della Francesca – The Resurrection
Francisco Goya – The Third of May 1808
Katsushika Hokusai – The Great Wave
Gustav Klimt – The Kiss
Edouard Manet – Le Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe
Michelangelo – David*
Edvard Munch – The Scream
Pablo Picasso – Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
Auguste Renoir – Dance at the Moulin de la Galette
Auguste Rodin – The Kiss*
Georges Seurat – A Sunday on La Grande Jatte 1884
Paolo Uccello – The Battle of San Romano
Vincent Van Gogh – The Sunflowers
Rembrandt Van Rijn – The Night Watch
Diego Velazquez – The Rokeby Venus
Johannes Vermeer – The Art of Painting
James McNeill Whistler – Portrait of the Artist’s Mother

*Works of sculpture

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