Decoding The Masterworks

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01Manet's A Bar At The Folies-bergere20150806

Dr Janina Ramirez introduces the first in a new series on BBC Radio 4 in which three great masterworks are examined in minute detail. Recorded in the galleries in which the pictures hold pride of place, Janina is joined by experts who can provide context, biographical background and artistic insight, all combining to decode these masterworks for today's audience.

The series begins at the Courtauld gallery in London with Edouard Manet's 'A bar at the Folies-Bergère'. Joining Janina are Professor Griselda Pollock of the University of Leeds and Dr Karen Serres of the Courtauld Institute who explain why the girl at the centre of the picture was more than just a reflection of a moment in Parisian cultural history, and why British Beer plays an important part in the painting. There are also insights into the figures making up the background to the waitress standing at the bar on the upper-floor of the Folies.

Listeners are invited to look the painting up, if they can, on their computer or tablet, with the best webpage being:

http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/collections/paintings/imppostimp/manet/foliesbergere/index.shtml

Producer: Tom Alban.

01Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergere20150806

Dr Janina Ramirez introduces the first in a new series on BBC Radio 4 in which three great masterworks are examined in minute detail. Recorded in the galleries in which the pictures hold pride of place, Janina is joined by experts who can provide context, biographical background and artistic insight, all combining to decode these masterworks for today's audience.

The series begins at the Courtauld gallery in London with Edouard Manet's 'A bar at the Folies-Bergère'. Joining Janina are Professor Griselda Pollock of the University of Leeds and Dr Karen Serres of the Courtauld Institute who explain why the girl at the centre of the picture was more than just a reflection of a moment in Parisian cultural history, and why British Beer plays an important part in the painting. There are also insights into the figures making up the background to the waitress standing at the bar on the upper-floor of the Folies.

Listeners are invited to look the painting up, if they can, on their computer or tablet, with the best webpage being:

http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/collections/paintings/imppostimp/manet/foliesbergere/index.shtml

Producer: Tom Alban.

02Dali's Metamorphosis Of Narcissus20150813

Dr Janina Ramirez introduces the second programme in a new series on BBC Radio 4 in which three great masterworks are examined in minute detail. Recorded in the galleries in which the pictures hold pride of place, Janina is joined by experts who can provide context, biographical background and artistic insight, all combining to decode these masterworks for today's audience.

Today she visits Tate Modern on London's South Bank, with Professor Dawn Ades and the Tate's own Matthew Gale to look at Salvador Dali's Metamorphosis of Narcissus.

It was completed in 1937 and not long after Dali brought it to London where he showed it to Sigmund Freud. What the picture told Freud about the subconscious of its creator and what that creator wanted to reveal is the subject of this programme. As Prof Ades points out the backdrop, rather than dream or myth-scape, is rooted in the Catalan coastline familiar and loved by Dali. The main figure of Narcissus, doubled and transformed into an upturned hand holding an egg is altogether more challenging. Is there optimism in the flower emerging from the 'split head' as Dali refers to it in his poem accompanying the picture, or is there an inherent darkness in the self-absorption that results in Narcissus melting into the background.

No-one is prepared to claim an absolute decoding but there are fascinating insights into Dali's workings before the days when his staring eyes and flamboyant moustache rather obscured the fact of his brilliance as a painter.

Producer: Tom Alban.

02Dali's Metamorphosis of Narcissus20150813

Dr Janina Ramirez introduces the second programme in a new series on BBC Radio 4 in which three great masterworks are examined in minute detail. Recorded in the galleries in which the pictures hold pride of place, Janina is joined by experts who can provide context, biographical background and artistic insight, all combining to decode these masterworks for today's audience.

Today she visits Tate Modern on London's South Bank, with Professor Dawn Ades and the Tate's own Matthew Gale to look at Salvador Dali's Metamorphosis of Narcissus.

It was completed in 1937 and not long after Dali brought it to London where he showed it to Sigmund Freud. What the picture told Freud about the subconscious of its creator and what that creator wanted to reveal is the subject of this programme. As Prof Ades points out the backdrop, rather than dream or myth-scape, is rooted in the Catalan coastline familiar and loved by Dali. The main figure of Narcissus, doubled and transformed into an upturned hand holding an egg is altogether more challenging. Is there optimism in the flower emerging from the 'split head' as Dali refers to it in his poem accompanying the picture, or is there an inherent darkness in the self-absorption that results in Narcissus melting into the background.

No-one is prepared to claim an absolute decoding but there are fascinating insights into Dali's workings before the days when his staring eyes and flamboyant moustache rather obscured the fact of his brilliance as a painter.

Producer: Tom Alban.

03Paolo Uccello - The Hunt In The Forest20150820

Dr Janina Ramirez is joined by Professor Martin Kemp and Professor Catherine Whistler of the Ashmolean museum to examine and decode the perspective brilliance of Paolo Uccello's painting The Hunt in the Forest.

The painting is thought to be one of the last major works completed by Uccello before his death in 1475 and is rich in the work he had done involving perspective. The huntsmen's lances, the branches of the trees and other decorative details all contribute to the focus on an apparent vanishing point at the heart of the painting in the gloom of the forest.

It's thought to be part of an elaborate domestic decoration, possibly for a linen box and it now holds pride of place in the Ashmolean's collection. You can see it by following the link below.

http://www.ashmolean.org/education/resources/resources2011/TOPHuntInTheForestNotes

Producer: Tom Alban.

03Paolo Uccello - The Hunt in the Forest20150820

Dr Janina Ramirez is joined by Professor Martin Kemp and Professor Catherine Whistler of the Ashmolean museum to examine and decode the perspective brilliance of Paolo Uccello's painting The Hunt in the Forest.

The painting is thought to be one of the last major works completed by Uccello before his death in 1475 and is rich in the work he had done involving perspective. The huntsmen's lances, the branches of the trees and other decorative details all contribute to the focus on an apparent vanishing point at the heart of the painting in the gloom of the forest.

It's thought to be part of an elaborate domestic decoration, possibly for a linen box and it now holds pride of place in the Ashmolean's collection. You can see it by following the link below.

http://www.ashmolean.org/education/resources/resources2011/TOPHuntInTheForestNotes

Producer: Tom Alban.