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  • 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.

Raphael in 3D

Raphael - The Agony in the Garden - completed ca. 1505 - Oil on wood - 9 1/2 × 11 3/8 in. (24.1 × 28.9 cm) - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (click photo for larger image)Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino—more commonly known as Raphael (1483-1520)—is featured in numerous posts on this site. He is universally regarded as one of the great masters of the Italian Renaissance, right up there with Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and Michelangelo (1475-1564) (also well covered by What About Art?).

The panel featured here was originally part of the base (predella) of the Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints. It shows Christ praying in the garden before his arrest with his disciples asleep around him. There were two accompanying panels: the Procession to Calvary and the Lamentation over the Dead Christ. The small angel holding the chalice was an afterthought, replacing an earlier idea to have the chalice sit alone on the rocky hill. Most scholars believe that the altarpiece was completed in 1505, but begun at an earlier date.

Trafalgar Releasing is promoting the release of an exciting film, Raphael. Raphael is the first film adaptation of the life and work of the artist. The project has been developed by the creators of Florence and the Uffizi Gallery in 3D and The Vatican Museums in 3D, and has been supported by contributions from some of the best creative talents from the Italian film industry. The film presents a unique opportunity for US-based audiences to immerse themselves in the world of the Italian master. Taking audiences on a journey through 20 different locations, the film features two major exclusives, the Vatican Logge and Cardinal Bibbiena’s apartment in the Apostolic Palace. It also allows viewers to enjoy over 30 of Raphael’s masterpieces and, with selected 3D screenings, Raphael promises to bring the artist, his art and the audience closer than ever before. By all means, try to catch it at a 3D theater. The experience will be unforgettable! 

Click on this LINK to check out the newly-released trailers on YouTube!


Anselm Kiefer: Monumental and Confrontational

Anselm Kiefer - Everyone Stands Under His Own Dome of Heaven - 1970 - Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on joined paper - 15 3/4 x 18 7/8in. (40 x 47.9cm) - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (click photo for larger image) Anselm Kiefer's powerful canvases were groundbreaking at a time when painting was considered all but dead as a medium. Kiefer (born 1945) is most known for his subject matter dealing with German history and myth, particularly as it relates to the Holocaust. These works forced his contemporaries to deal with Germany's past in an era when acknowledgment of Nazism was taboo. Kiefer incorporates heavy impasto and uncommon materials into his pieces, such as lead, glass shards, dried flowers, and strands of hay, many of which reference various aspects of history and myth, German and otherwise. He diverged from Minimalism and abstraction to develop new representational and symbolic languages.

The work featured here “re-imagines the now-miniscule figure of the artist in a green military coat in the midst of a vast, snow-dusted field.” It is part of a series of watercolors related to the photographs Kiefer staged in 1969, reenacting the Nazi salute.  Kiefer has said, "Each man has his own dome, his own perceptions, his own theories. There is no one God for all."


Did You Know?

Picasso’s abstract depiction of five Barcelona prostitutes was deemed immoral when it debuted at the artist’s studio in 1907. Picasso created over 100 preliminary sketches and studies before setting his vision down on canvas, and in previous incarnations the figure at the far left was a man.


Neo-Expressionism: An Affirmation of the Redemptive Power of Art

Georg Baselitz - Man of Faith - 1983 - Oil on canvas - 97 1/2 x 78 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYMany artists have practiced and revived aspects of the original Expressionist movement, as it existed at its peak at the beginning of the twentieth century. 

The most famous return to Expressionism was inaugurated by Georg Baselitz (born 1938) who led a revival that dominated German art in the 1970s. By the 1980s, this resurgence had become part of an international return to the sensuousness of painting - and away from the stylistically cool, distant sparseness of Minimalism and Conceptualism. Baselitz was enormously influential in showing a generation of German artists how they might come to terms with issues of art and national identity in the wake of the Second World War.. Briefly trained in the officially sanctioned social realism of Communist East Berlin, he soon moved to West Berlin, and encountered abstract art. Ultimately, however, he was to reject both options. While others turned to Conceptual Art, Pop Art, and Arte Povera, Baselitz revived the German Expressionism that had been denounced by the Nazis, and returned the human figure to a central position in painting. The figures in his art often appear upside-down.

Baselitz has always been influential and controversial. "I begin with an idea, but as I work, the picture takes over. Then there is the struggle between the idea I preconceived... and the picture that fights for its own life.”

I’ll be teaching a single-session class on Neo-Expressionism THIS Thursday (11/9), at the Larchmont Temple. Click HERE to register.


Audrey Flack: Contributions to Photorealism and Feminism

Audrey Flack - Macarena of Miracles - 1971 - Oil on canvas - 66 x 46 in. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYAudrey Flack (born 1931) is an American painter, printmaker, and sculptor, who is widely regarded for her innovative contributions to the Photorealist and feminist movements of the late twentieth century. While her early work included abstract motifs, Flack achieved international recognition for her incredibly detailed paintings of still-life compositions and her monumental sculptures of mythical and divine female figures. She holds the distinction of being the first Photorealist painter to have a piece bought by The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

During the late 1950s, Flack retreated from the Abstract Expressionism, which she felt did not communicate effectively or clearly with viewers. That realization marked an important turning point in her artistic career. Because she thought her ability to paint in a realistic manner was inadequate, Flack enrolled at the Art Students League to study anatomy with Robert Beverly Hale. She looked to artists such as Spanish Baroque artist Luisa Roldán (1652–1706) and Italian Renaissance painter Carlo Crivelli (c. 1430–c. 1495) as models. Her painting of a crying Virgin Mary, Macarena of Miracles (1971), makes direct reference to Roldán’s sculpture Virgen de la Macarena, La Esperanza.