Starting in 2006, the Louvre held an extraordinary series of study days. Works by five major artists—Rembrandt, Leonardo, Raphael, Watteau, and Poussin—were grouped together, removed from their frames, and set on easels in natural light. Experts from around the world came to examine and discuss them. Look through their eyes, listen in on their conversations, and see what wasn’t meant to be seen: restorations, the ravages of time, faint lines where the artist changed his mind.
From up close, we see the faint lines where the artist changed his mind, witness how time has ravaged the canvases, and debate the evidence that a master painted a particular work. Engaging animations explain and simplify complex language and concepts. By revealing what isn’t meant to be seen, this fascinating series shows that art is more than meets the eye.
Juliette Garcias and Stan Neumann have each directed several documentary films for the Louvre, on subjects ranging from the great masters to architecture and ancient pyramids.
“Rare close-up detail” —Radio Times (U.K.)
The Double DVD set has all 5 episodes and is 4 ¼ hrs long. It comes with a 16-page booklet with articles on the genesis of the series, tools used to analyze paintings, art restoration developments and controversies, and the art of attributing Rembrandts.
Understanding Art: Hidden Lives of Masterpieces clip