The Private Life of a Masterpiece – Part 1: Renaissance Masterpieces


The Private Life of a Masterpiece – Part 1: Renaissance Masterpieces

thx goes to Adi 🙂

This award-winning series, Private Life of a Masterpiece, reveals the full and fascinating stories behind famous works of art, not just how they came to be created, but also how they influenced others and came to have a life of their own in the modern world. The works of art featured here are both instantly familiar and profoundly mysterious.Revolutionary in their conception, and iconic years after their execution, they each have their own compelling stories. For behind the beautiful canvases and sculptures are tales of political revolution, wartime escapes, massive ego clashes, social scandal, financial wrangling and shocking violence.In this fascinating series key works of art are investigated and the intricate details of their lives revealed – the history, contemporary reactions, and legacies of each are illustrated.

Part 1: Renaissance Masterpieces Concentrating on four icons of Renaissance painting, this documentary series reveals how the works came to be created, how they influenced later artists and how they eventually gained canonical status. The acclaimed quartet consists of Sandro Botticelli’s La Primavera, Paolo Uccello’s The Battle of San Romano, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper and Piero della Francesca’s The Resurrection.

La Primavera – Botticelli’s painting is extraordinarily beautiful; his portrayal of Flora, the central character, reveals a face you might find in London or Bologna or Boston today. But what the painting is about is a mystery which scholars devote their lives to solving. It is rich is sex, even rape, but it also about love and the highest aspirations of man.

The Battle of San Romano – Among the greatest of all depictions of battle, these three panels were break throughs in painting technique, so that contemporaries must have viewed them in awe. Also they were the victims of an audacious art crime.

The Last Supper – The story of probably the most renowned painting in the world. The Last Supper revolutionized Western art and its power reverberates to this day in the courts and the bookshops and cinemas.Just how Leonardo Da Vinci broke with traditions in creating his supremely dynamic masterpiece is recounted, together with the tale of his disastrous attempt to use a new technique in wall-painting.

The Resurrection – The first moment in the Christmas story is the arrival of the Archangel Gabriel to tell Mary that she has been chosen to give birth to the son of God. Many painters have depicted this event, none better than the great Flemish painter Jan Van Eyck.As befits a man who seems to mixed espionage in with painting for his patron, Eyck’s picture is full of symbols and half-concealed messages. It has an extraordinary after-life – sold by the Soviets against the wishes of the Hermitage and bought by a secretive American millionaire who hid it away in a cellar.


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