New History of Art in Western Civilization Introduced

SILVER SPRING, MD.- Broadcast on PBS, the illuminating nine-part documentary series, Art of the Western World, debuts on DVD from Athena on September 27, 2011. Historian Michael Wood (Legacy, The Story of India) hosts this fascinating overview of painting, sculpture, and architecture, from ancient Greece to the postmodern era. Four years in the making and filmed at over 150 locations in 8 countries, this eye-opening tour through 2,500 years of Western art travels from sun-bleached temples to soaring cathedrals, palaces to villas, galleries to gardens, and Soho’s streets to the Arizona desert. Complemented by close-up views of masterpieces, walks through important buildings, and informative commentary by historians and scholars, the DVD 3-vol. set also includes a 20-page viewer’s guide and biographies of major artists ($59.99).

Title, artist, medium, and date—usually that’s the only information offered by museum placards. But as historian Michael Wood demonstrates, art is so much more than paint on canvas or figures chipped from stone. From the bloody revolution that inspired The Death of Marat to the postwar exuberance of Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, Wood reveals how Western art mirrors Western culture, each work forever reflecting the cultural forces, historical events, and social changes that defined its era. Art of the Western World was produced in 1989.

Oxford-educated historian Michael Wood has written numerous books and made dozens of acclaimed documentaries, including Legacy: The Origins of Civilization (released on DVD in March 2010) and The Story of India. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the U.K.’s leading organization for scholarly study of the past.

*Episode 1: The Classical Ideal
*Episode 2: A White Garment of Churches: Romanesque and Gothic Art
*Episode 3: The Early Renaissance
*Episode 4: The High Renaissance
*Episode 5: Realms of Light: The Baroque
*Episode 6: An Age of Reason, an Age of Passion
*Episode 7: A Fresh View: Impressionism and Postimpressionism
*Episode 8: Into the 20th Century
*Episode 9: In Our Own Time

*20-page viewer’s guide featuring an interview with executive producer Perry Miller Adato; a history of frescoes; articles on the windows of Chartres Cathedral, the Paris salons, pop-art criticism, great artworks lost to history; and timeline of artistic movements.

*Biographies of major artists and of Michael Wood, plus fun facts about oil paints, poems by Michelangelo, and discussion questions at

Street Date: Sept. 27, 2011
DVD 3-Vol. Boxed Set – 9 Episodes – Approx. 513 min. – SDH Subtitles

Athena releases provide an authoritative and entertaining learning experience through high quality, informative, non-fiction programming. Athena’s releases include Genius of Britain, The Making of the President, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, Cosmos-A Beginners Guide, The Genius of Design, Discovering Hamlet, Playing Shakespeare, The Story of Math, World War I in Color, Testament, and Six Centuries of Verse.


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