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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.

Entries in Pre-Modernism (2)


The Barbizon School

Theodore Rousseau - The Village of Becquigny - c. 1857-64 - Oil on panel - 25 x 39 3/8 in. (63.5 x 100 cm) - Frick Collection, New York (click photo for larger image)The Barbizon School was a group of landscape artists working in the area of the French town of Barbizon, south of Paris. They rejected the Academic tradition, abandoning theory in an attempt to achieve a truer representation of life in the countryside, and are part of the French Realist movement. Theodore Rousseau (1812-1867) is the best-known member of the group. Other prominent members included Constant Troyon and Charles-Francois Daubigny. Realist painters Jean-Francois Millet and Camille Corot are also sometimes loosely associated with this school. The Barbizon School artists are often considered to have sown the seeds of Modernism with their individualism, and were the forerunners of the Impressionists, who took a similar philosophical approach to their art.


James Mcneill Whistler - a Pioneer of Modernism

James McNeill Whistler - “The Artist’s Studio (also known as “Whistler in his Studio”) - 1865 - Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art (click photo for larger image)The American painter, etcher, and lithographer James Abbot McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) created a new set of principles for the art world of his day. He was a champion of “art for art's sake” and introduced a style mood and atmosphere into his paintings that are truly masterworks of modernism. American artists are all too often overlooked in discussions of the development of Modern Art. Although admirers such as the great photographer and collector Alfred Steiglitz worked very hard to promote American artists--and keep them on the map of art history--too many Americans are underemphasized in art historical analyses. Whistler is certainly one of those underrated artists. He painted works of “impressionism” before that movement even existed--and created great works of “expressionism” long before the days of the 20th century. Whistler had an enormous influence on later artists--and on the direction of art as a whole. Find out more about him here. He’s important!