The Artists' Specials Series
When I find something educational and entertaining, I'll be the first to share it with you here. After yesterday's post, I had several readers ask about a Winslow Homer movie after a reply I had made to my friend Beth in the comments. We have a set of movies called The Artists' Specials Series that we have enjoyed time and time again. Whenever I want inspiration, I pull out one or two of the movies. I originally saw these specials on HBO about 4 years ago and immediately went online to purchase the movies. They were that good. Here are the movies that are in the Artists' Specials Series ...
Monet, Light & Shadow;
story of Claude Monet starts at the very beginning of the Impressionist
movement, in 1869. In a small town on the banks of the
Monet has little
success selling his works, but he remains an optimist. He is also very
proud and extremely committed to his art, so much so that his rich
father cuts him off from his only source of income, a family allowance.
54 minutes, Color
Mary Cassatt American Impressionist;
This story is of American painter Mary Cassatt during her time in
Cassatt is an intelligent, charming and fiercely independent artist with an orderly life in
Many of her paintings were influenced by her nieces and nephews and children though she had none of her own.
56 minutes, Color
Degas and the Dancer;
The story finds the great painter Edgar Degas in a time of crisis following the death of his father. Saddled with debt and struggling to survive, he derives unexpected inspiration from an aspiring young ballerina named Marie.
Degas helps Marie tap into the incredible talent she doesn't believe she has, especially when compared to her beautiful and confident sister Pauline, who is also a ballerina. At the same time, Marie convinces Degas to persevere in the face of relentless criticism from the Parisian art establishment. In the hours they spend together as artist and model, they become friends and confidantes, finding in each other what they most need to move forward and follow their dreams.
I absolutely love this movie, and this one is probably my favorite of them all.
55 minutes, Color
Goya Awakened in a Dream;
The story opens with young Rosarita helping her mother, Leocadia, find a new home where she can work as a housekeeper. A run-in with the artist Francisco de Goya at the local church turns out to be a blessing. Enchanted by Rosarita's artistic talent, Goya agrees to hire Leocadia.
When Goya turns gravely ill, it is Rosarita who has the most faith. Just when it seems that the great artist no longer has the strength to continue, she convinces him to keep fighting. Recovered and with new found inspiration, Goya begins an ambitious work directly on the walls of his dining room, a series of fourteen works collectively known as The Black Paintings.
55 minutes, Color
Winslow Homer an American Original;
The film is set in 1874, by which time Winslow Homer had seen and recorded enough of the horrors of the Civil War. Leaving the battlefield and his post as illustrator for Harpers' Weekly behind, he is at Houghton Farm to be alone, refocus, and paint. Breathing in the fresh air, he sets up his easel at the nearby river, but he is soon discovered by two young children. The children are fascinated with Homer and his art and he has no choice but to show them his studio, reluctantly. Homer asks them to be his models. The two youngsters together with Homer eventually share the truth about their lives and what the war has done to their families, and to themselves. Through their ability to share their feelings, and to escape the fear and shadows of the Civil War, all three of them discover that the present has more to offer than the ghosts of their past.
49 minutes, Color
Rembrandt Fathers and Sons.
The film is set in 1614, when Rembrandt is the portrait painter of choice for
All of these movies were created for the benefit of children that they might witness the genius that came before them, and inspire them to be great in their lifetime. Although these movies were created with children in mind, each story depicts how a child influenced the greatness of each master based on what we know of each of the masters, and each movie is a joy to watch as a family.
I fell in love with Degas and laughed out loud at his grappling with a ballet dancer and his assistant. I was moved by Mary Cassatt's strength and determination to be recognized as a serious impressionist. I was surprised by the darkness of Goya's work, and I laughed at Monet's attempts to sidestep his landlord so he could paint.
We even have the movies of the Inventors' Specials and the children love watching them with me too.
I recommend that anyone who loves the masters, homeschools their children, or just wants some wonderful family movies that also offer a great educational benefit, to get this new box DVD set that is available through Amazon. Just click on the image above.
You'll enjoy every moment. Promise.