Among outstanding European paintings at the National Gallery of Art are Leonardo's Ginevra de' Benci and masterworks by Giovanni Bellini, Raphael, Vermeer, and Van Dyck.
The European Art DVD compilation includes the following titles, which are also available as individual films on VHS:
- Introduction to European Art in the National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art possesses one of the largest collections of European art in the United States, with extensive holdings in Italian Renaissance, Dutch, British, and French impressionist art. Narrated by National Gallery of Art director Earl A. Powell III, this film offers a brief art-historical overview and an introduction to the Gallery's treasure of European art—paintings, sculpture, and works on paper—from the twelfth to the twentieth century.
- The Feast of the Gods
The Feast of the Gods was painted in 1514 by Giovanni Bellini, one of the masters of the Italian Renaissance. But in less than fifteen years, the picture was drastically repainted by another great artist, Titian. Filmed on location in Venice, Ferrara, and Mantua, this program probes the painting's past, using x-rays, infrared photography, and computer graphics to reveal the secrets of this mysterious masterpiece.
- Ginevra's Story
Ginevra de' Benci, the first known portrait by Leonardo da Vinci, is both haunting and hypnotic. The magnificent and mysterious work conceals a multitude of secrets, now coaxed out by x-ray analysis, infrared reflectography, and computer technology. This film, narrated by Meryl Streep, unveils insights about the painting and about Ginevra and Leonardo.
- Raphael and the American Collector
The paintings of Renaissance master Raphael have been much admired as models of perfection since their creation. A brief survey of the artist's oeuvre provides a background for understanding the competitive quest of early twentieth-century American collectors to acquire works by Raphael. The pictures they purchased are now seen in American museums, particularly the National Gallery, whose five Raphaels offer a unique look at the artist's development.
- Anthony van Dyck
Flemish painter Van Dyck was a child prodigy who, at the age of fourteen, was already painting masterful portraits. Within a few years, he had become an assistant to Peter Paul Rubens, then the most famous artist in Europe. This film follows Van Dyck's career as he rose to the highest levels of his profession, sought out by royalty and the most distinguished patrons of the day.
- Vermeer: Master of Light
The paintings of Johannes Vermeer are intriguing for their subjects as well as for the poetic ways in which they are portrayed. Vermeer's use of light, color, proportion, and scale are mesmerizing. This film guides the viewer through an exploration of Vermeer's paintings by examining the "secrets" of his technique through x-ray analysis, infrared reflectography, and computer analysis.
All programs are closed captioned.