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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.

The Ghent Altarpiece

Ghent Altarpiece detail, completed c. 1432, closed view, back panelsGhent Altarpiece detail, completed c. 1432, The Virgin MaryOne of the great masterpieces of art is the treasured Ghent Altarpiece--an early Flemish polyptych panel painting. Begun by Hubert van Eyck and completed by his brother, Jan van Eyck, in around 1432, this work was a major innovation for its time. It introduced a shift away from the idealization of the Middle Ages to a more precise representation of nature. When opened, the altarpiece measures 11 x 15 feet (3.5 x 4.5 metres), so it’s not a small matter, to be sure!

You can find lots of information about the Ghent Altarpiece online. But for a fantastic look at an ongoing project designed to assess the structural condition of this seminal work, visit Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece. Here you'll find multiple views of the panels, various types of photographic analysis (including macrophotography, infrared macrophotography, reflectograph and x-radiography), along with a wealth of documentation and details.

A Tip of the Hat to my friend, Linda C., for turning me on to this site!


Modernism and Giotto: Back and Forth on a Time Machine

(Left) Diego Rivera - The Agitator, detail, 1926, Autonomous University of Chapingo. (Right) Giotto - Crucifixion, detail, c. 1305, Scrovegni Chapel, PaduaOne of the primary goals of Modern Art was to break with the traditions of the past that had been defined by the Renaissance. But inspiration doesn’t develop in a vacuum! Key modernists such as Matisse, Picasso, Modigliani, Rivera--and many other artists--journeyed back in time to pre-Renaissance days in search of a muse. They found one in the great fourteenth century master, Giotto. I will begin a five-week program on this topic at the Palos Verdes Art Center--on Tuesday afternoons from 12:30-3:30, and beginning Tuesday, April 10th. In this program, we will examine the significant links (and in some cases direct quotations) between the “father of European painting” and the Moderns masters. Giotto once said, “Every painting is a voyage into a sacred harbor.” Come on our voyage to find out how modernism interpreted this idea--working from the Giotto model. Space is limited so register now! Click here for more info and to register.


Seventeen Works By Banksy to Sell in Urban Art Sale At Bonhams

Bonhams auction house employees pose for photographers with a work by British artist known as Banksy, entitled 'Kate Moss', during a press preview in London, Friday, March, 23, 2012. The Andy Warhol inspired 'Kate Moss' is expected to sell for between GBP 30,000 to 50,000 (US$ 48,000 to 79,000). AP Photo/Alastair Grant.Banksy is a pseudonym used by a British underground street artist, filmmaker and political activist. He uses a stenciling technique to produce works that are satirical and embody a dark humour.


LONDON.- Seventeen art works by the celebrated graffiti artist, Banksy, will be available to photograph at Bonhams, New Bond Street, ahead of the Urban Art Sale, which takes place on 29 March 2012. One of the highlights is a screen print of British supermodel Kate Moss, 2005, inspired by Andy Warhol’s iconic Marilyn Monroe series, which has been estimated at £30,000 – 50,000. It will be on display alongside Warhol’s screenprint of a Dollar Sign (estimate £20,000 – 30,000), which is part of the Contemporary Two: Modern Design sale, also on 29 March 2012.


For a fascinating look at Banksy and his work, I highly recommend taking a look at his 2010 documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop.


In the Eye of a Needle - Willard Wigan MBE, Micro-Sculptor

Micro view: Willard Wigan carved the St Bartholomew's church into this grain of sand and then put it in the eye of a needle. It's so small that it can't be seen with the naked eyeThe real thing: Mr Wigan's girlfriend lives at the bottom of this hilltop church and challenged her talented boyfriend to carve a replica of it from a single grain of sandWillard Wigan is a sculptor from England who specializes in microscopic art. His sculptures are created in the eye of the needle, or on the head of a pin, and measure as little as 0.005 mm (0.0002 in). Art and science are exquisitely merged in these extraordinary works of art. To learn more about this fascinating artist--and the journey he has taken, click here...


Quote of the Day

“You are lost the instant you know what the result will be.” - Juan Gris