An Art Documentary That Rocked!

In the next few posts I’ll be turning to the art history side of things and sharing some art and history-related images I shot on my recent trip to Italy. For today however I wanted to share an art history DVD that is on my wish list this year.

There's loads of cool art documentaries available these days if you're into that sort of viewing (and I so am!). Unlike some books which can be dry and tough to read, watching an engaging documentary - whether it be on DVD or the internet - can be so much more enlightening and fun.

Recently I've re-discovered one fantastic art history documentary that was done back in the late 1980s. I used to watch it on the local PBS station, and had nearly forgotten about it, until milling about on YouTube a few weeks back. It was called "Art of the Western World".

The presenter was well-known British historian and author, Michael Wood.

Michael Wood telling it like it was - in the 11th century.

Each episode is only about twenty-five minutes long and is shot in various locations in Europe and America. Highlights of painting, sculpture, and architecture from each historical period are covered chronologically, while showing us how and why things developed as they have.

The series begins with Greek civilization since so many facets of our way of life, along with the look of our modern world, have been influenced by the ancient Greeks. Ever been to Washington D.C. or a large local bank? Well alright then.

Know the differences between Romanesque and Gothic
and impress your friends at parties! (well kinda).

Compared to my other favorite and more recent art documentary series, “The Power of Art”, “Art of the Western World” is a bit less on the melodramatic side. Which is probably because it’s more of a traditional educational narrative rather than a dramatization of one specific artist. But don’t be mislead, this series is fun to watch and will give you a fantastic foundation in western art history!

Here's your link to go get it.


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