Understanding Art: Impressionism makes its DVD debut

Posted filed underArt History, Documentaries, Education, Impressionism.


An entertaining, accessible, and educational exploration of the highly popular art movement, Understanding Art: Impressionism makes its DVD debut from Athena on September 18, 2012. Renowned critic Waldemar Januszczak (Every Picture Tells a Story) presents this lively documentary on the legendary artists of the impressionist movement. Available to U.S. audiences for the first time, this four-part 2011 program sheds light on the motley collection of personalities that revolutionized art. The DVD 3-Vol. boxed set includes two feature-length bonus programs, Manet: The Man Who Invented Modern Art (90 min.) and Vincent: The Full Story (146 min.), 20-page viewer’s guide with articles on the politics of impressionism, the social network, women impressionists, Paris’s hot spots, impressionist hardware, and an illustration of impressionist techniques, and more ($59.99, AthenaLearning.com).

The sunny landscapes and shimmering portraits of the 19th century impressionists adorn candy boxes and designer T-shirts. But as critic Waldemar Januszczak reveals in this four-part documentary, the artistic movement didn’t always enjoy the widespread popularity it has today. In their time, impressionists were artistic rebels who threw out the rules set by Paris’s prestigious art salons.

As Januszczak visits the studios, hot spots, and rustic vistas that inspired the artists, he sheds light on a motley collection of personalities, from Jean-Frédéric Bazille, a gifted, nearly seven-foot-tall painter who helped bankroll his fellow artists, to Claude Monet, whose obsession with water compelled him to build a floating studio. When they banded together for eight legendary exhibitions between 1874 and 1886, they forever expanded the boundaries of art.

Writer and filmmaker Waldemar Januszczak has been the art critic for the Sunday Times (U.K.) since 1992. He has twice been honored as Critic of the Year by the Press Association of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

EPISODES: The Gang of Four, The Great Outdoors, Painting to the People, The Final Flourish

BONUS FEATURES: Bonus programs Manet: The Man Who Invented Modern Art (90 min.) offers a portrait of the precursor to impressionism, and Vincent: The Full Story (146 min.), provides a profile of the fiery painter; 20-page viewer’s guide with articles on the politics of impressionism, the social network, women impressionists, Paris’s hot spots, impressionist hardware, and an illustration of impressionist techniques; biography of Waldemar Januszczak; plus discussion questions at AthenaLearning.com

Review at DVD Talk