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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.

Did You Know?

Leonardo da Vinci was a vegetarian and an animal rights activist. He would buy caged birds and set them free. He also liked to be able to draw them while in flight. He was very interested in flying. It is said, however, that one of his servants died when Leonardo insisted that he (the servant) test the machine. The servant was neither seen nor heard of again. Apparently...Leonardo was NOT a human rights activist!


Finding the Medieval in Modernism

Left: Henri Matisse - Le Bonheur de Vivre (The Joys of Life) 1905-06 - Oil on canvas, Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA / Right: Gothic Glass Painter; German Jaoob with the Tree of Jesse c. 1218 - Stained glass window, Minster, Freiburg We are an accumulation--if you will--of all of the knowledge, wisdom, curiosities and even superstitions that have preceded us. We can’t “unknow” what we know--and we can only live in our own time. But inspiration for the present can often be found in the past. Early Modern artists struggled to break free of the academic standards they believed were stifling their creativity. Part of that process involved reaching back in time to the artistic traditions of the Middle Ages--which were less bound by the many formal rules and regulations of art established later, in the Renaissance. Medieval stained glass, illuminated manuscripts, bestiaries, metalworks and more all made significant contributions to the innovations of Modern Art. Look at these comparisons and see if you can find the Medieval Past in the Modern Present. I’ll be giving a talk on this subject at the Burbank Artists Association on March 21st. The details are already posted here.

Left: Emile Nolde - Crucifixion - 1912 Oil on canvas, Nolde-Stiftung Seebull / Right: Hester Franeke Vir Dolorum (Man of Sorrows) - c. 1420 - Tempera on oak, Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig

Left: Ruhende Kuhe (also known as Kauemder Steir), Franz Marc, 1911, Private collection / Right: Wether, early 13th Century, Museum Meermanno, MMW, 10 B25, Folio 19v


Quote of the Day

Francisco de Goya, Self-Portrait, 1795, Indian Ink and Wash“Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.” - Francisco Goya


"Starry Night" in Bacon

Two of my favorite things!


Horace Pippin (1888-1946)

Horace Pippin, Christmas Morning Breakfast, 1945Horace Pippin in 1940Horace Pippin was an American naive painter, known for his depictions of African American life and the horrors of war. Pippin’s childhood was spent in Goshen, New York, a town that sometimes appears in his paintings. Pippin was wounded in WWI, and was discharged with a partially paralyzed right arm. He settled in Pennsylvania--and was “discovered” by the art world in 1937. Pippin’s later works are precise and boldly colored. He’s an excellent example of genre painting at its best--which refers to paintings that depict everyday people doing everyday things. Read more about Horace Pippin at the NGA Classroom for Student and Teachers.