“Renaissance” A National Gallery of Australia Playlist

This six-part series of YouTube videos highlights art from a showcase put together by the National Gallery of Australia (their words, not mine) that has probably come and gone as of this blog post.  The series itself was uploaded in 2012.  All extremely short, each video has people praising and analysing art from the early Italian Renaissance era.  There is one exception.  While the talking heads label Raphael as High Renaissance, they do use a painting (according to them) from his youth as one of their examples.

As a whole, the series has good and bad aspects.  The good?  The people do well explaining motifs, visual puns, and allegories found in the paintings and they provide historical background behind the artists, subjects, and objects as found in each artwork.  They also give solid information as to why some of these works are seen as early Renaissance.  The technical skills and choice of subject matter represented a new era of Italian art.  The bad?  If you want a paintings’ title, their date of completion, the artist’s birth and death, and where they originated, the videos offer little to no information.  So while I consider nearly all these works early Renaissance (feel free to correct me), the videos prefer to not provide textual information that could either corroborate or correct me.  Finally, while I had no problem with the talking heads acting informal, I found it weird that in the fifth video, the people considered the portrait of this rich woman unflattering and gaudy.  Honestly, I’ve seen worse.

What do you think?

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