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Palettes: Great Artists and Their Paintings
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Claude Monet [electronic resource]

In his garden at Giverny, Monet created a vast canvas to research his landscape paintings. He had a Japanese bridge built over the pond, which he covered with water lilies. Anxious to render every variation of light over the bridge, water, foliage, and flowers consistent with the season and time of day, Monet worked simultaneously on several canvases and returned to them again and again. This program explores the 54 versions of Water Lilies from various viewpoints and harmonies of light. We see that behind the apparent spontaneity lies a very sophisticated work of composition.
2008; 1990

Paul Cezanne [electronic resource]

After several years of traveling, Cezanne moved back to Aix-en-Provence. From that point, he barely left the area, and spent his days painting in his studio and outdoors. The majestic Mont Sainte-Victoire became his primary subject and motif, capturing the magnificent mountain from every angle of light, different points of view, styles, and changing seasons. In this program, we examine many of these paintings in oil, drawings, and watercolor, and probe the intention of Cezanne's apparent obsession with place.
2008; 1995

Eugene Delacroix [electronic resource]

Alain Jaubert flushes out the details, interprets the symbols, and analyzes the composition of Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People. Why such polemics when the painting was unveiled in 1831? Was it the nudity of the armed woman? Or was it the triumphant people in this realistic setting? Since the painting did not come to the Louvre until well after Delacroix's death, we will never know for certain. But this program makes some educated guesses from a firm, artistic standpoint.

Georges Seurat [electronic resource]

In 1886, at the last Impressionist Exhibition in Paris, an unknown painter, Georges Seurat, exhibited a large canvas which caused a scandal for its technical daring and lack of concern for the accepted conventions of painting. A multitude of small dots created an astonishing light, and "pointillism" was born. In this program, video graphics are used to focus on key elements of Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte and to analyze its structure and composition.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec [electronic resource]

La Goulue, the celebrated cancan dancer and queen of late-night Paris during the Belle Epoque, asked her friend Toulouse-Lautrec to paint two panels to decorate her carnival booth. It is those canvases Decoration pour la baraque de La Goulue and their extraordinary destiny that are the subject of this program.

Jan van Eyck [electronic resource]

The setting of a Roman gallery brings together four characters in van Eyck's The Virgin of Chancellor Rolin. Nicolas Rolin, the Duke of Burgundy's minister of finance, is on his knees before the Madonna, who is being crowned by an angel. Rolin is being blessed by the infant Jesus. Outside, a rich landscape is peopled with a number of unknown characters. The work is analyzed as a complex painting, difficult to decipher.

Piero Della Francesca [electronic resource]

The Flagellation is considered one of the most mysterious paintings in the history of art. Although approximately thirty hypotheses have been formulated to try to explain its political meaning, the painting by this scholarly Renaissance artist defies all attempts. This program makes one more attempt, and reveals its overall identity as a manifesto of a new school of art and Renaissance thought.

Peter Paul Rubens [electronic resource]

At age 53, Rubens married the young Helene Fourment, who had already served as the model for several of his works. In the two paintings at the Louvre, she appears in superb apparel, which suggestively hides the splendor of her voluptuous figure. This program examines two portraits of Helene Fourment, and projects from the two paintings what the others, the nudes which she destroyed, might have looked like.

Marcel Duchamp [electronic resource]

Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase is, with Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon, an essential step in the 20th-century artistic revolution. But in spite of its worldwide reputation, the painting has never been commented on in-depth. This program is the first to completely dedicate itself to Duchamp's masterpiece. It asks what exactly the painting represents, and to what extent it is possible to analyze the work and dissect its symbolism.

Pablo Picasso [electronic resource]

Crucifixion is a rather surprising painting coming from Picasso, a man who had little interest in religion or religious themes. This program explores the reasons why he might have placed a number of strange, indecipherable figures within this classical representation of Calvary. Many allusions found in the work's enigmatic composition seem to indicate that the painting may have been created during a personal crisis.

Rembrandt van Rijn [electronic resource]

Even in his first paintings, Rembrandt positioned himself in the scene. In the following years, at least 100 times he used his face as the only subject in engravings, drawings, and paintings. Such single-mindedness, unique in the history of art, was very widely interpreted. This program explores his self-portraits and attempts to determine the secret meanings hidden in the various versions of Rembrandt's face.

Jan Vermeer [electronic resource]

Vermeer, born in 1632, lived in Delft all of his life and was influenced by Rembrandt. His work consisted of a series of variations on enigmatic interiors. Only 34 of his paintings are known to exist. In this program, video graphics are used to focus on the key elements of The Astronomer for the purpose of analyzing its structure and composition.

Titian [electronic resource]

Giorgione or Titian? The identity of the artist who painted one of the world's most famous paintings, Le Concert champetre, remains uncertain to this day. What does this pastoral scene represent? Why do two nude women appear next to two clothed men? What music are they playing? This program attempts to answer these and other questions by delving into 16th-century Venetian culture, and by examining its more recent counterparts, such as Manet's Partie de campagne.