Museum Masterpieces: The Louvre

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Museum Masterpieces: The Louvre Course No. 7175 Pr Although academically skilled, Professor Bretell lapsed into wordy, effete descriptions and name dropping, choosing historical trivia for his focus rather than the qualities of the art pieces themselves. In the process, he emphasized how impossible it was to understand these pieces, thus wasting time in helping us actually understanding the art.
Date published: 2020-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exemplary presentations I wish I had taken this course prior to my trip to the Louvre. The lecturer was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the subject. The material unfortunately ends at the middle of the 19th century. Regardless, it was an exceptional couse.
Date published: 2020-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a magical experience Run, don't walk, to get this series of lectures. A walk through the Louvre with Professor Brettell is surely the next best thing to being there. I cannot recommend this wonderful course too highly.
Date published: 2020-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great pictures of great art. I purchased "The Louvre" to learn more about the museum itself and the works of art that it holds. The lectures are lucid and well presented. The photos of the collection are, obviously, the main focus of the course. What sometimes is lacking is a view of the presentation of the works. An example is the Mona Lisa as it hangs in its gallery, shown below. OVerall, the course is both enlightening and enjoyable.
Date published: 2020-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Watch this before you visit the Louvre I visited the Louvre a year ago and wish I had seen this video beforehand. Excellent tour of the most significant paintings as well as a historical tour of the history of painting via the Louvre collection.
Date published: 2020-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brettell Excells I will start by stating that I do not contribute a review by rote after completing every course. However, when scanning some of the reviews of Professor Brettell's finely crafted course on The Louvre, most of which were deservedly praiseworthy, I was compelled to weigh in. I found at least one review that quite inexplicably impugned Professor Brettell's scholarly bona fides and simply dismissed him. Others take issue with vagaries of speaking style. I even found a reviewer who believed Professor Brettell was some kind of sexist because he spoke of (and, God forbid, showed) numerous pictures of nude women, classical and otherwise. All such comments are not only gratuitous but devoid of any detectable thought process. Professor Brettell, by limiting himself (or, more likely, being limited) to 12 lectures, rather than the 24 that should have been his due, struck a deal with the devil when attempting to give The Louvre a fair shake. The Metropolitan Museum, also a great institution but no higher in the pantheon, got its 24 lectures, and Professor Brettell had no trouble filling in those lectures with no fluff left over. With these limitations stated, I find Professor Brettell to be a fine natural communicator who talks to us, rather than at us, and allows us in an unintimidating way, to borrow from his scholarship. His weaving of pictorial beauty with relevant history is simply wonderful to see.
Date published: 2020-02-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Comprehensive, educational, exciting As an art major, I went to the Louvre in the 1980s on several occasions so was able to appreciate learning about the changes within the exhibits and the museum itself. I also found the historical information on the Louvre almost as interesting as the background provided about the artists and the analysis of the exhibits individually. Excellent DVD presentation!
Date published: 2019-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Informative! We recently bought this lecture series to give us an informative history and look-see into visiting the Louvre during our up-coming trip to Paris and we're glad we did!
Date published: 2019-05-27
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Museum Masterpieces: The Louvre
Course Trailer
Palace to Museum-The Story of the Louvre
1: Palace to Museum-The Story of the Louvre

This lecture provides an overview of the history of the Louvre, describes the layout of the building, and offers tips and strategies for making the most of a visit to this remarkable museum.

34 min
Leonardo and the Origins of the Collection
2: Leonardo and the Origins of the Collection

Francis I sparked an artistic revolution in the 16th century by attracting Leonardo da Vinci to France and creating a rivalry between French and Italian art. Leonardo's La Joconde (The Mona Lisa) serves as the anchor for a lecture exploring works by Italian painters, including Raphael, as well as earlier French painters....

31 min
Italian Renaissance and Baroque Painting
3: Italian Renaissance and Baroque Painting

This lecture explores the Louvre's immense collection of Italian painting dating from the medieval period through the early 17th century. Featured works include altarpieces and portraits by masters of the High Renaissance and Baroque era in Italy including Raphael, Giorgione, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, and Andrea Mantegna, as well as the religious and secular works by the mercurial Caravaggio.

33 min
Spanish School of Painting
4: Spanish School of Painting

The Louvre's collection of Spanish paintings is small but contains some fine examples that were highly influential on later French painting. Jusepe Ribera's Clubfooted Boy serves as the featured masterpiece for the lecture, leading to a discussion of selected Spanish painters from the deeply religious images of El Greco to the court portraits of Goya....

30 min
Rubens and Flemish Painting; Early German
5: Rubens and Flemish Painting; Early German

From the Rubens's immense canvas of The Apotheosis of Henry IV to Quentin Metsys's precise, quotidian portrait, The Moneylender and His Wife, this lecture surveys the Louvre's remarkable collection of paintings by Flemish and German artists....

32 min
Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Dutch Painting
6: Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Dutch Painting

This lecture discusses the major paintings in the collection by the three greatest Dutch artists of the 17th century-Rembrandt, Hals, and Vermeer-and explores the French interest in miniature Dutch cabinet pictures (Little Masters)....

31 min
De La Tour, Le Nain, and 17th-century Painting
7: De La Tour, Le Nain, and 17th-century Painting

This lecture initiates a broad survey of French painters that serves as the focus for the remainder of the course. De la Tour and the Le Nain brothers represent an original and indigenous style of French painting, which is contrasted to contemporary artists trained in Italy and the north.

31 min
Claude and Poussin-French Painters in Rome
8: Claude and Poussin-French Painters in Rome

The Grand Siecle (great century) of French painting-the 17th century-is represented by the works of two startlingly different artists: the intellectual painter Nicolas Poussin and the artist of tranquil landscapes, Claude Lorrain....

32 min
Watteau and Chardin
9: Watteau and Chardin

This lecture explores the state of French painting at the end of the reign of Louis XIV by contrasting the styles of two geniuses: the delicate, melancholy of Jean-Antoine Watteau and the earthy clarity of Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin.

31 min
Boucher, Fragonard, and the Rococo in France
10: Boucher, Fragonard, and the Rococo in France

Jean-Honore Fragonard's vigorous operatic painting and Boucher's delicate sensuality offer two versions of French Rococo painting and are contrasted to the classically inspired moralism of Greuze and their contemporaries.

32 min
Jacques-Louis David and His School
11: Jacques-Louis David and His School

As a painter who started his career in the final salons of the Ancien Regime to become the premier artist of the French Revolution, Jacque-Louis David embodied the social and political transformations of his time....

32 min
Delacroix and Ingres-The Great Dialectic
12: Delacroix and Ingres-The Great Dialectic

The course concludes with an examination of two contrasting style of early 19th-century art, as seen in the works of Eugène Delacroix and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

34 min
Richard Brettell

Great works of art communicate across time, and there are places in the Met where you're looking at something, something that was made 2,000 years before Christ in the ancient Near East, and you're looking into the eyes of somebody.


Yale University


The University of Texas, Dallas

About Richard Brettell

Dr. Richard Brettell is the Margaret McDermott Distinguished Professor of Art and Aesthetics at The University of Texas at Dallas. He earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Yale University. Prior to joining The University of Texas at Dallas, Professor Brettell taught at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, Yale University, and Harvard University. Professor Brettell was the founding American director of the French Regional and American Museum Exchange, designed to promote the exchange of art and information between regional museums in France and the United States. He served as the McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art and has advised and consulted for museums such as the Portland Museum of Art and the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. His museum exhibition work includes Monet in Normandy (for the de Young Museum in San Francisco) and The Impressionist in the City: Pissarro's Series (for the Dallas Museum of Art). He has given scholarly lectures at numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art, and has written over 25 books, including 19th and 20th Century European Drawings in the Robert Lehman Collection and Impression: Painting Quickly in France, 1860-1890.

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