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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 Scottish Painting (2)


The Self-Taught Artist

Sir Henry Raeburn - Young Girl Holding Flowers - 1798-1800 - Oil on canvas, 92 x 71 cm - Musée du Louvre, Paris (click photo for larger image)Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823) was the leading Scottish portrait painter during the 18th and early 19th centuries. Although he had some early training, for the most part Raeburn was self-taught, progressing from miniature painting to full-scale portraiture. A man of many interests and a good conversationalist, Raeburn became a popular member of the new cultured Edinburgh society. In some of his works, the artist experimented with unusual lighting from behind the sitters' heads. and later his tonalities became darker and the lighting more contrasted. In 1812 he was elected president of the Edinburgh Society of Artists, becoming a Royal Academician in 1815. He was knighted in 1822 and shortly thereafter was appointed His Majesty's Limner for Scotland. Not bad for a fellow who taught himself how to paint! The sitter for the portrait featured here is Nancy Graham of Cromarty, Scotland.


Sir David Wilkie

Sir David Wilkie - The Defence of Saragossa - 1828 - Oil on canvas, 94 x 141 cm - Royal Collection, Windsor (click photo for larger image)Scottish painter Sir David Wilkie (1785-1841) trained in Edinburgh and then moved to London.The artist had a distinguished career within royal circles, succeeding Sir Henry Raeburn as Limner to George IV for Scotland in 1823 and Sir Thomas Lawrence as Principal Painter to the king in 1830. He held this second post during the reigns of William IV and Queen Victoria. The Defence of Saragossa forms part of a group of four paintings purchased by George IV in 1829-30 and still in the Royal Collection. The other paintings are The Spanish Posada: a Guerilla Council of War, The Guerilla's Departure and The Guerilla's Return. The four paintings illustrate a decisive moment in the development of Wilkie's style, from more intimate genre paintings to works on a grand scale.