Landscapes Through Time is a 13-part PBS series, produced several years ago, in which landscape painter David Dunlop goes on location to places were several notable landscape painters, mostly from the late 19th century, painted.
Each episode is devoted primarily to an individual painter. In the half-hour episodes he talks about the painters, their methods, palettes and historical background, all while painting a sketch more or less in the method of the painter he is discussing.
It’s a fascinating, informative and well-done show, and Dunlop is a clear and enthusiastic presenter.
It’s currently playing again on the Create TV channel, an offshoot of PBS, in most locations on Wednesdays at 12:30 PM and Sundays at 6:30 AM.
Unfortunately, the asinine program managers at the channel, instead of repeating the episode from Sunday on Wednesday so you have two chances to catch it, as they have done in the past, are playing the episodes straight through, so you have to get up on Sunday morning at 6:30 to catch them all – or record them, defeating their own efforts to sell them on DVD.
But then, these idiots are determined to squander whatever potential is suggested by the name “Create TV” by doggedly doing their best to turn it into “Just Another Cooking Channel”.
I recommend the shows if you can catch them. Maybe they’ll run them around again before displacing them with “Tomato Salsa I Have Known” or something similar.
There is an excerpt of the show on Monet on YouTube that gives a good idea of the nature of the shows, including Dunlop’s insightful description of the influence of Chevreul’s color theory on Monet and the other Impressionists.
The DVD’s are available through Dunlop’s site, and there is a listing of the episodes here and more detail in this PDF. There are also some other video clips.
Apparently there was a successful (as far as I know) Kickstarter project to get a second series off the ground, but I don’t know the status of production.
Today’s episode, if you can catch it, is “American Impressionists in Giverny”.
[Addendum: Connie Simmons, who produced and directed Landscapes Through Time, has kindly informed me that the second series is in the editing stage. I’ll try to keep you updated when it becomes available.]