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Art of Germany [DVD]

Andrew Graham-Dixon    Exempt   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: £9.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Art of Germany [DVD] + The Art of Spain [DVD] + Berlin [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Andrew Graham-Dixon
  • Producers: Silvia Sacco, Basil Comely
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Feb 2011
  • Run Time: 177 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004EPYSD2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,111 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

In a three-part epic journey through a 500–year artistic legacy, Andrew Graham-Dixon explores the surprises, beauty and wonder of German art.

The fascinating story takes us from the towering cathedral of Cologne, the woodcuts of Albrecht Dürer and paintings of Grünewald to the gothic fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle, the Baltic landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich and the industrialisation lent expression of Adolph Menzel and Käthe Kollwitz.

As the series progresses it presents a rare focus on the cultural impact of Hitler’s obsession with visual art, reveals how art became an arena for the Cold War and examines the redemptive work of the “visionary” Joseph Beuys – the most influential artist of modern times.

In an absorbing study, Andrew Graham-Dixon tells the story of a national art that conveys passion, precision, hope and renewal, and juxtaposes escapism with control and a deep affinity with nature against a love for the machine.

“A terrific series presented by Andrew Graham-Dixon… thoughtful and inspiring” The Guardian

“A beguiling view of the country’s artistic history” Daily Telegraph

Product Description

In a three-part epic journey through a 500-year artistic legacy, Andrew Graham-Dixon explores the surprises, beauty and wonder of German art. The fascinating story takes us from the towering cathedral of Cologne, the woodcuts of Albrecht Dürer and paintings of Grünewald to the gothic fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle, the Baltic landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich and the industrialisation lent expression of Adolph Menzel and Käthe Kollwitz. As the series progresses it presents a rare focus on the cultural impact of Hitler's obsession with visual art, reveals how art became an arena for the Cold War and examines the redemptive work of the "visionary" Joseph Beuys - the most influential artist of modern times. In an absorbing study, Andrew Graham-Dixon tells the story of a national art that conveys passion, precision, hope and renewal, and juxtaposes escapism with control and a deep affinity with nature against a love for the machine. "A terrific series presented by Andrew Graham-Dixon... thoughtful and inspiring" The Guardian "A beguiling view of the country's artistic history" Daily Telegraph


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
By Derek Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Andrew Graham-Dixon has presented numerous art programmes on TV but I believe this is only the second to be released on DVD, quickly following "The Art of Spain". I found these German programmes the most interesting of all the presenter's programmes, perhaps partly because I was less well-informed about German art but also I think because Graham-Dixon does such an excellent job. The first of the three one-hour episodes covers the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque period and seeks to relate art to its historical context. Though I was acquainted with the works of Durer, Altdorfer and Messerschmidt I must confess I knew little about others such as Tilman Riemenschneider. The presenter's analysis of his stone and limewood carving is fascinating. The second episode takes the story up to the First World War and sets art against the background of the attempts to unify Germany. Caspar David Friedrich features prominently as does the art of Prussia, the state that was to unify Germany.

The third episode is "In the Shadow of Hitler". It looks at the Nazi era from the perspective of art, and in particular claims that art exerted a powerful effect on Hitler's own visions for Germany and influenced his actions. Just as Stalin disliked modern art and sought to change it so too did Hitler. The episode also deals with how post-war German artists tried to come to terms with Nazi legacy, with much material new to me.

I find Graham-Dixon an engaging and informative presenter and I believe this to be the best of all his TV series. Just one discordant note however: why does the background music have to be so loud and intrusive on so many BBC programmes? I might have awarded five stars had it not been for the music.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yearnings Made Concrete 21 Feb 2012
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
From Cologne in the west to Berlin in the east; and from Hamburg in the north to Munich in the south, Andrew Graham-Dixon's three-part BBC series on the art of Germany does not claim to be a comprehensive guide. There is, after all, no Waldmuller, Knobelsdorf, Holbein, Bocklin, or Schiele in sight, but rather the series is an attempt to explain German art through illustrative examples.

As some of the aforementioned names suggest, Graham-Dixon does not restrict the German nation to the borders of the modern nation-state - he visit Vienna, for example, to sample the amazing Messerschmidt busts - but, despite even one mention of (for example) Klimt, Graham-Dixon has nevertheless brought a wide range of samples for our delectation and examination. (Having said that, the presenter is sometimes guilty of confusing the German state with the German nation: the former was created in 1871, the latter had existed for centuries if not millennia.)

The first episode highlights the paradox and complexity inherent in the concept of `German', as Graham-Dixon introduces us to the deep-rooted German connection with the landscape, exemplified in the lime-wood sculpture of Tilman Riemenschneider and Goethe's attempt to view German medieval gothic as reminiscent of the architecture of forests. This first episode is almost wholly devoted to the German late-medieval style: as well as Riemenschneider, the colourful worlds of Grunewald, Durer, Cranach, and Altdorfer are explored.

The second episode is entitled `Dream and Machine', but it could also be called `Romanticism and War', as Graham-Dixon brings us forward to the nineteenth century and the ostensible contradiction inherent in the German admiration for both a sense of yearning, of becoming, and a sense of concrete intricacy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and enjoyable but ... 23 Dec 2011
By Fern
Format:DVD
Overall, an enjoyable and informative series, although I would prefer to have seen more of the artwork and landscapes. I found the frequent close-up shots of Andrew Graham-Dixon intrusive, rather like having somebody standing in front of the television. This, along with the somewhat rapid views of certain works, tends to take a little from the very interesting commentaries.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars unbalanced 3 April 2011
By emmcol
Format:DVD
I thought these programmes were unbalanced and in places disingenuous. To start a programme on German Art with Gothic architecture (which is essentially French) is odd, and then, as the archetype of this work of the medieval mind, to choose Cologne Cathedral, which was built in the 19th century and is essentially a pastiche, is very odd indeed. The next oddity was to spend ten minutes of a 60-minute programme on Messerschmidt, and then to imagine that his "character heads" somehow reflected the fragmentation of Germany. That is a view which is not only strange, but was not backed up in any serious way. The middle episode, on the 19th century, was much better, giving due attention to Runge and Friedrich. To try to get all of German 20th-century art into one episode is probably an impossible undertaking. Much of it was well done (the Nazis and art, for example), but why spend so much time on the Bechers? Hilla Becher is a jolly old girl, and enjoys explaining (to TV viewers) the twists and turns of the blast-furnace pipes on the bald b/w photographs she famously took together with her husband. But if this were a 40-something man explaining in an estuary accent the fine points of the different clothes-pegs in his collection, we would soon yawn and wonder if this was art (even if he'd taken good photographs of them). I suppose no review of German art can fail to mention Beuys, and even Grahame-Dixon admitted that many feel this emperor has no clothes. I thought he got too much space, and the result was that others were left out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Trust there will be more of this level.
Profound well researched ... most enjoyable.

Not aware of other programs, even similar ... deeper into history,
Germany has given so much to our development. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paul Calder
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting introduction to German art
Really enjoyed this -- gives an overview of the cultural and social history of Germany, as well as art's place in this country.
Published 11 months ago by Christine
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - good buy if you have any interest in the subject
Is therebany hook for you in the title "Art of Germany?". If so, this is a good one to watch. Will not be a waste of your time (or money).
Published 13 months ago by Richard H. Willhite
5.0 out of 5 stars German art revealed
As is usually the case with Andrew Graham Dixon this dvd covers everything you need to know about the art of Germany in easy to absorb style. Read more
Published 14 months ago by M. Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all here
Andrew Graham Dixon's programmes on art are the best of their kind. He can describe the most complex social, political, spiritual and of course artistic ideas and influences in... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Nick Mayhew
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful
This is a terrific video. I have enjoyed this as much as Art of Spain.It's a definite must. Good buy.
Published 15 months ago by A. Andre-Weingarten
1.0 out of 5 stars Words Fail!
I would give zero stars if this were at all possible. Under the guise of an arts program, the author takes it upon himself to guide the viewer through a journey of utter and total... Read more
Published 16 months ago by helen
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey through German art.
Andrew Graham Dixon is an unobtrusive guide through the history of German art. His commentary is informative and often moving, and at times the camera lingers lovingly allowing the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by KAW
5.0 out of 5 stars Art of Germany
An excellent DVD... we managed to catch one of the transmissions on TV but missed the rest. Having visited Munich recently it acted as a catch up on art and culture there. Read more
Published on 22 May 2012 by Jenny
5.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Germany
Andrew Graham Dixon knowledgeably explores not only the well known icons of German art, but also some very esoteric works that he argues very convincingly deserve consideration. Read more
Published on 7 May 2012 by James Wilhelm
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