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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.

Entries in China (2)


Ancient Chinese Landscape Painting

Scholar by a Waterfall, Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279), late 12th–early 13th century - Ma Yuan (Chinese, active ca. 1190–1225) - Album leaf: ink and color on silk; 9 7/8 x 10 1/4 in. (25.1 x 26 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New YorkOne of the directions art culture takes involves upholding traditions—as they have been practiced for centuries. Ancient Chinese Landscape painting is one of the oldest and continuous traditions in the world—still generally regarded as the highest form of Chinese painting—and still practiced today. Ma Yuan () (Chinese, active ca. 1190–1225) is an influential Chinese landscape painter of the Song Dynasty whose work, together with that of Xia Gui, formed the basis of the Ma-Xia school of painting. Ma Yuan came from a prominent painting family. His grandfather, father, uncles, and son all served in the imperial Painting Academy. Ma occasionally painted flowers, but his genius lay in landscape painting. His technique, like that of many contemporaries, was at first inspired by Li Tang. Eventually Ma developed a personal style, with marked decorative elements such as the pine. A characteristic feature of many paintings is the so-called "one-corner" composition, in which the actual subjects of the painting are pushed to a corner or a side, leaving the other part of the painting more or less empty. Ma Yuan’s lyrical and romantic interpretation became the model for many later painters.


Incredible Fruit Pit Carving Art From China

Fruit pit carving art from China. “Often referred to as ‘an uncanny work of art’, fruit pit carving requires a series of skills and tools in order to produce a fine piece of art." (click photo for larger image)When I was a little girl--my Dad used to carve rings for me, and for my sister, out of peach pits! Every season--when there was a new batch of peaches, out would come Dad’s swiss army knife--to be used as an artist’s tool. Dad was a nature and wildlife artist--and he also loved making things from objects in nature--preserving the integrity of the original. We had tables, stools, cabinets, sculptures--and of course--the peach pit rings. Each ring was a different design. The Chinese elevated fruit pit carving to an art form centuries ago--and, admittedly, they were and are better at it than my Dad had been. But it is the memory of my father’s gifts that inspired my interest in this folk arts form.

Fruit pit carving art from China. “Peach is associated with escape, in Chinese culture, so peach pit carvings are widely used as pendants or on as a string of beads to ward of evil and avoid misfortunes.” (click photo for larger image)

Fruit pit carving art from China.

“The miniature folk art of fruit pit carving has been practiced in China for centuries, and is still praised for turning useless fruit stones into valuable works of art.”