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Hermitage Masterpieces
Hermitage Masterpieces
Genres: Documentary
NR     2004     8hr 18min

A breathtaking journey through time, culture and art, this 18-part series includes stunning images of rarely seen treasures that represent the development of world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century. Or...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 12/07/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 8hr 18min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Breadth But Not Depth
Diego Banducci | San Francisco, CA United States | 02/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"After providing an overview of the Hermitage and the lives of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, this series of 18 separate half-hour episodes attempts to provide a history of art based solely upon the paintings in the museum. That approach works where the museum's collection for a given period is strong (notably the programs on Egyptian and Dutch art, especially Rembrandt), but is far less successful in those areas where the museum's collection is weaker (e.g,, the Renaissance, Impressionism and Expressionism). The Hermitage is a fine museum, but it's not the Louvre. Its collection offers breadth but not depth.

The narration is painfully bad, the narrator (R. Parsons) being a representative of the psychological school of art appreciation-he repeatedly makes inane comments to the effect of "We can see in her face exactly what this person is thinking."

Of the 18 programs, the final one (focusing on Matisse and Picasso) is the best. Apparently the Communist regime allowed the museum to purchase Picassos, probably because of the strong stand he took against Franco. The Picassos in the museum's collection are both rarely seen and superb. Even Mr. Parson's commentary rises to the occasion.

For the casual or first-time viewer of films on the Hermitage, the three-tape VHS set entitled "The Hermitage, A Russian Odyssey," produced by the Christian Science Monitor, is a better buy. Having viewed that, if you still want to see more of the museum's collection, you should then consider buying this DVD.

If you're interested in an historical walking tour of the Hermitage, consider buying "Russian Ark," a 90-minute continuously shot movie of the museum. The extras on the disk (a tour of St. Petersburg, etc.) make it a special value.
This Is An Extraordinary Global History Of Art !
h. harwich | Pearl River, New York | 03/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What a treat! This is a vast selection of rarely seen treasures--from Ancient China to 20th Century France--with fascinating narratives about the art, the artists and the times. And, it's all highlighted with fine classical music that illuminates the stunning visual images, making each of the 18 programs a unique and memorable experience."
Yes indeed, it is breathtaking
Alana London | New York | 10/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Hermitage Masterpieces is currently being shown on CUNY TV in New York. You will be blown away. Excellent closeups of the artwork with intelligent narration. It will open your brain. There is accompaniment of music to enhance the subjects, sometimes a little distracting but never mind. This is so rare an opportunity. Unless you live in St. Petersburg next to the museum don't hesitate to buy this DVD."
Best in its class, remastered
Eugene Tenenbaum | Bronx, NY USA | 11/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This 2004 set is a remastered and the best version of the 1992 original. It has a qood quality video, sound, and menu structure."