DVD Release: Understanding Art: Hidden Lives of Masterpieces

DVD Release Date: June 18, 2013
Price: DVD $49.99
Studio: Acorn

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The Anatomy of Dr. Tulp by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Understanding Art: Hidden Lives of Masterpieces, a 2010 ARTE France co-production with the participation of the Center National de la Cinematographie, is a television documentary series that examines the great artists and their masterpieces with genuine affection and careful precision.

The series puts masterworks under the microscope and offers an accessible look into their fascinating histories. It begins with the Louvre and its “study days,” in which works by major artists are collected, removed from their frames, and set on easels, replicating the feel of an artist’s studio. Curators, historians, restorers, and scientists from around the world come to examine and discuss the works in total freedom. In this way, viewers are able to look through the experts’ eyes and listen in on their conversations. Additionally, we can observe the restorations, repairs, and often capricious changes made over the centuries.

The 2-disc DVD set features five episodes of the Understanding Arty series, showcasing the work of Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Watteau and Poussin. It also includes a 16-page booklet with articles on the genesis of the series.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.