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Waldemar Januszczak: The Impressionists

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Adrienne Doyard | 15:54 UK time, Friday, 15 July 2011

Art critic, Waldemar Januszczak revisits the Impressionists in a new four-part BBC Two series launched on Saturday 16th July 2011 at 8pm.

In each episode, Waldemar uncovers the surprising truth about this seemingly familiar art movement and reminds us how truly revolutionary it was.

If you can't wait, find out more from Waldemar's brand new guided tour of cherry picked Impressionist paintings from the nation's art collection.

Waldemar Januszczak Guided Tour

"There are a large number of Impressionist pictures in Britain and I've picked out a few that I'd like to talk about."

Do you know obscure facts about Impressionists that you would like to share? Are there other Impressionist paintings from the collection that you particularly love.


  • Comment number 1.

    This looks as though it will be a very enjoyable series, but couldn't someone have helped Waldemar with his French pronunciation? Sacre bleu, it's breathtakingly bad!!

  • Comment number 2.

    Re 'The Impressionists - Painting and Revolution' ( 8pm Saturday 30 July). Very very disappointing. Presenter Waldemar Januszczak is unprepossessing in his appearance, manner and pronunciation. He seems to know very little about his subjects - especially the women artists, who he patronised, completely misrepresented their work and lives. Typical man.
    I know the Beeb is on a mission to appeal to the beer-swilling masses and the choice of presenter was a conscious effort to dumb down, to employ an apparent man-on-the-street (I'm sure, in reality, WJ isn't), but in producing such shoddy work it insults the viewer, however culturally uneducated.
    The previous programme on Cornish painters was also 3rd rate. Far too many shots of the cute looking presenter and woefully few images illustrating what the show was about! Our screens should have been ablaze with gorgeous colour, paint handling and sculptural form. That's what would turn people on!

    I hate art critics such as WJ. Viewing a painting of ladies at the opera/ theatre, he postulated that Mary Cassatt's sitters were depressed! (If people aren't actively smiling, their facial musculature slackens) Because they understand little about the creative process, critics are always inventing preposterous fantasies about the artists. eg "Evident in this small painting of a sunset, is Constable's mental agony" (or some such rubbish) The fact is that to capture, en plein air, a fleetingly dramatic subject such as a sunset necessitates speed, therefore brush marks are bound to be vigorous and the dark land contrasts strongly with the sky.

    Too late now. What a waste of a series that would have considerable popular appeal AND be educational! What more could you want of an evening, instead of the usual depressing insistence on spiritually unedifying murder/crime sagas? In future, should the Beeb commission such a prog, it should ensure that license payers' money is well spent. Get a presenter who knows the subject and is good to watch, e.g. me.

  • Comment number 3.

    I can't disagree more with "Credo".
    I find that Waldemar is inspiring and puts a whole new approach to appreciating art, especially a topic which has been covered so many times by critics in the past and who cares if his 'French' is not the best, his enthusiasm is intoxicating. I can't wait for the book to come out. Well done the BBC.
    Please provide a list of galleries where all these beautiful paintings can be seen. I've spotted the Gauguin in Sheffield and there's a Pissarro in there too.

  • Comment number 4.

    I couldn't agree more with Peter Goulding. We find it utterly compelling, so fresh and engaging. Quite brilliantly presented.

  • Comment number 5.

    I felt there was a confusion in the colour theory between the ideas of subtractive colour, that is, mixing pigments, and additive mixing, which is using beams of light. The spinning disc did not demonstrate Newton's prismatic colours producing white light. but was nearer to Seurat's optical mixing where the eye and the right distance blend the pure colours into mixtures, producing subtle colours. The spinning replaced the distance needed which Seurat controlled by the size of the dots.
    And then there was the mention of what was really Delaunay's experiments with "simultaneous contrast" where the junction of two contrasting colours produces an intimation of the complementary of either or both colours, which is not at all the same as Seurat's optical mixing, which had the intention of producing colour changes without the physical mixing of pigments. Both Seurat and Delaunay realised that these experiments work best when the colours are tonally the same, so that in Seurat any area of, say ,sky or grass contains colours of the same or nearly the same tone, though different in colour. The blues, pinks, creams and greys in the sky,or the yellows. blues, oranges, reds, in the grass do not jump about because they are in light/dark terms nearly the same.

  • Comment number 6.

    An excellent series well done Waldemar!

  • Comment number 7.

    Another example of an "art critic" who has never picked up a brush or knows what it means to be creative. Series by Schama's on art was orders of magnitude better. This series is just drivel, no insights into the art, artist, it's like all he knows about art is from Wikipedia. I'm an artist and I know.

  • Comment number 8.

    ...looking forward to 'Waldemar does Klimt, Schiele, Moser et al'.....

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    Be right back with impresion,after i watch the series.


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