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Understanding Art: Impressionism

Series Description

“Genuinely fascinating” —The Daily Telegraph (U.K.) [NB: note different attribution from cover comp]

“Illuminating series” —The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

“Insightful” —The Daily Mail (U.K.)


The sunny landscapes and shimmering portraits of the 19th century impressionists adorn candy boxes and designer t-shirts. But as critic Waldemar Januszczak reveals in this four-part documentary, the artistic movement didn’t always enjoy the widespread popularity it has today. In their time, impressionists were artistic rebels who threw out the rules set by Paris’s prestigious art salons.

As Januszczak visits the studios, hotspots and rustic vistas that inspired the artists, he sheds light on a motley collection of personalities, from Jean Frédéric Bazille, a gifted, nearly seven-foot-tall aristocrat who helped bankroll his fellow artists, to Claude Monet, whose obsession with water compelled him to build a floating studio. When they banded together for eight legendary exhibitions between 1874 and 1886, they forever expanded the boundaries of art.


Bonus programs Vincent: The Full Story (146 min.) and Manet: The Man Who Invented Modern Art (90 min.)

About the Host

Writer and filmmaker Waldemar Januszczak has been the art critic for the Sunday Times since 1992. He has twice been honored as Critic of the Year by the Press Association of the United Kingdom and Ireland.