Saturday, April 02, 2011

El Greco and all that

BBC 4 is one of the better parts of the Corporation. It has produced many good programmes. One excellent programme was The Art of Spain: The Dark Heart (2007)

Andrew Graham-Dixon lets us see the country's scorched centre to explore Spanish art of the 16th and 17th centuries (" the Golden Age")

He covers El Greco through to Velasquez and travels from Toledo to Avila to Madrid.

This country in that period produced some of the most beautiful art ever seen.

The website CosmoLearning allows us to see the whole four programmes without interruption.

The end of Programme 1 and Programme 2 cover amongst other things El Greco in Toledo and St Teresa of Avila. in Avila.

Here are the first fifteen minutes of Programme 2 on YouTube. Clips of the other programmes are also on YouTube

The programme is extremely well filmed. Here are some of the more memorable images. Particularly moving is the section on the life of Saint Teresa of Ávila [Saint Teresa of Jesus] (March 28, 1515 – October 4, 1582). The explanation of the Transverberation of the Heart is particularly good and sensitively done. Having seen Bernini`s work The Ecstasy of St Teresa, that work is nothing in comparison to the relic of the Saint`s heart shown below.

The Disrobing of Christ (El Espolio) (1577–1579, oil on canvas, 285 × 173 cm, Sacristy of the Cathedral, Toledo) in situ

The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (1586–1588, oil on canvas, 480 × 360 cm, Santo Tomé, Toledo) in situ

The relic of the heart of Saint Teresa of Jesus in Avila