Western Art 101. Beginning Art Appreciation, yet some details to interest even the aesthetically enlightened. Not conclusive, but an authoritative look worthy of university credit. 9 SUBTITLED episodes presented by art historian, Michael Wood. Many other art scholars are included as the viewer is carried into a film (not stills) of architecture and art pieces from Greece to yesterday's newest art encounter. Wood keeps the presentation at a vocabulary level suitable for most high-school age and above. Recommended for any art major/minor, or anyone taking an appreciation class, and of course art lovers.
Immediately this DVD set brought back my own personal art history experience of 1960s undergraduate art major days. I discovered this series is closely related to a text "History of Art" by H. W. Janson. That university art history text has been preserved by me now for 43 years and was consulted while viewing this DVD set. A Coordinating Producer for the "Art of the Western World" PBS documentary was Gail Janson. I suspect a connection, book-series. Film is an enhanced way to see a sculpture (all sides), painting (zoom), or architecture (interior and out)-- betters textbook photos.
Episodes are each almost an hour, SUBTITLED, and follow Parts and Chapters of the mentioned "History of Art" text. Text locations indicated in ( ).
1: The Classical Ideal
Greek & Roman impact on the world to follow. (Part 1 Chap. 5,7)
2 A white Garment of Churches: Romanesque and Gothic Art
Pilgrimage, cathedrals & monks manuscripts to Gothic flying buttresses & pointed arches. (Pt 2 Ch 3-4)
3 The Early Renaissance
Florence to Flemish oils (Pt 3 Ch 2)
4 The High Renaissance
Papal patronage & Venice; Leonardo & Michelangelo (Pt 3 Ch 3)
5 Realms of Light: the Baroque
First in Rome, then Austria & Germany; church & royalty; Rubens to Rembrandt (Pt 3 Ch 6-8)
6 An Age of Reason, an Age of Passion
Picturesque landscape & architecture; Rococo; neoclassicism; Romanticism (Pt 4 Ch 1)
7 A Fresh View: Impressionism and Postimpressionism
Manet Monet Degas Renoir, Van Gogh ... (Pt 4 Ch 2-3)
8 Into the 20th Century
Klimt Matisse Picasso Mondrian Frank Lloyd Wright... (Pt 4 Ch 4-5)
9 In Our Own Time
Post-modern Pollock to Warhol to women (text was prior to this time)
Bonus: viewers guide with more interesting information, related to but not repeating the DVDs
Text bios of Michael Wood and major artists; disc 1 Kritias & Nesiotes, Gislebertus, Filippo Brunelleschi, Jan van Eyck; disc 2 Leonardo, Andrea Palladio, Caravaggio, Jacques-Louis David; disc 3 Manet, Picasso, Corbusier, Pollock.
I strongly recommend this to the visual art enthusiast, educator, student, and patron. Regardless of prior knowledge, you will be enlightened, entertained, and enraptured with this intellectual collection. Also take a look at another fantastic art DVD set "Every Picture Tells A Story".
Consider H.W. Janson's "History of Art" text to read while watching PBS's "Art of the Western World."