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Worth Watching
  • Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    A fascinating and highly entertaining look at one of the most important families of the Renaissance era--the Medici.
  • Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)
    Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)

    “Sister Wendy Beckett has transformed public appreciation of art through her astonishing knowledge, insight and passion for painting and painters.” This set includes Sister Wendy's Story of Painting, Sister Wendy's Odyssey, and Sister Wendy's Grand Tour. Simultaneously delightful and scholarly--this is a must have for anyone interested in art history.

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
    Exit Through the Gift Shop
    When British stencil artist Banksy traveled to Los Angeles to work, he came across obscure French filmmaker Thierry Guetta and his badly organized collection of videotapes involving the activities of graffiti artists. Inspired, Banksy assembled them with new footage to create this talked-about documentary, and the result is a mind-boggling and odd film (so strange as to be thought a hoax by some) about outsider artists and the definition of art itself.
  • The Impressionists
    The Impressionists
    A dramatization of the Impressionist movement as seen through the eyes of Claude Monet. Highly entertaining and informative.
  • The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    A very personal and revealing look at the personalities that created Impressionism.
Friday
Dec192014

Illumination!

Jean Le Noir (with contributions by his daughter, Bourgot) - Psalter of Bonne of Luxembourg - c. 1348 - Manuscript (Inv. 69.86), 126 x 88 mm - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (click photo for larger image)French illuminator Jean Le Noir (active 1331-1375 in Paris) is an important figure in the history of French manuscript illumination. He is first mentioned in 1331, in the service of Yoland of Flanders, Duchess of Bar. Later he left her employ to work for King John II of France (reigned 1350-64). In 1358, during John's imprisonment in London, he and his daughter, Bourgot, who is also mentioned as an illuminator ('enlumineresse'), were given a house in Paris by the regent Charles, in recognition of services rendered to the King. In 1372 Jean Le Noir received gifts from Jean, Duc de Berry, and is referred to as 'illuminator to the King and to the Duc’. The piece featured here is widely regarded as his main work. This psalter was copied and illuminated for the private devotions of Bonne of Luxembourg (1315-1349), daughter of the Bohemian king, the wife of Duke John of Normandy, subsequently King John II of France (John the Good, reigned 1350-1364). The book contains 150 psalms and a calendar. The miniatures were produced by Jean Le Noir with the probable contribution of his daughter, Bourgot. “The miniatures are characterised by sensitive, noble lines, and their silhouettes and internal modeling are marked by graphic refinement and delicacy. The miniature on folio 83v illustrates Psalm 53, "The Fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." The figure of the fool, an ugly fat man with a Semitic profile has been exploited for anti-Jewish propaganda.”

Wednesday
Dec172014

Did You Know?

Students who participate in arts programs are at least three times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, elected to class office within their schools, participate in a math and science fair, win an award for school attendance, and win an award for writing an essay or poem.

Monday
Dec152014

Canaletto

Canaletto - Venice: The Bacino from the Giudecca - c. 1740 - Oil on canvas, 130 x 191 cm - Wallace Collection, London (click photo for larger image)Venetian painter Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697-1768) was the son of a well-known scenery painter, Bernardo Canal. The artist soon came to be called 'Canaletto' (meaning small canal). Canaletto received his training in the studio of his father and his brother, with whom he continued to collaborate for several years. He became the most famous “view-painter” of the 18th century. The painting featured here is a very fine example of the master’s work.

Friday
Dec122014

The Italian Rococo

Francesco Guardi - Il Ridotto (The Foyer) - 1755 - Oil on canvas, 108 x 208 cm - Museo del Settecento Veneziano, Ca' Rezzonico, Venice (click photo for larger image)Italian Rococo painter Francesco Guardi (1712-1793) was the best known among a family of artists and definitely one of the most famous painters of the 18th century. Although he is best known as a “view painter” — he tacked a wide array of subjects during his career, particularly earlier on. Venetians would gather in the “ridotti" (foyers) of theaters to socialize and engage in various pastimes. The Senate issued repeated proclamations banning their use as gambling halls. This painting features the Sala Grande of the foyer at the Palazzo Dandolo, prior to  a 1768 refurbishment.

Wednesday
Dec102014

Quote of the Day

"Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand." Neil Armstrong