I watched the two episodes of the PBS show that were broadcast last night. On the whole, I prefer the book. The first, on van Gogh, was beautifully filmed and I loved the closeups of juicy mounds of wet paint being attacked by a brush. But there was a little too much of wind blowing in the wheatfields and shadows in unknown places and the actor playing Vincent tended to mumble his words (or maybe that's my hearing). I didn't get any of the passion of van Gogh. Schama as narrator of his own book was fairly good, but a little arch at times (and maybe that's just my perception). The Picasso segment was very informative on the history of the Guernica painting and I enjoyed seeing various stages of that great work. But again, a little too much TV art with bullfights and mysterious shadowy profiles of an actor puffing a cigarette or cigar and presumed to be Picasso. Both episodes were really quite beautiful, but I guess I expected something a little different. I'll watch the remaining programs in a different frame of mind.
Check out Charley Parker's blog
on the Power of Art broadcast. He has images and links to other information about the program.
Labels: picasso, theo van gogh