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Title The Private Life Of A Christmas Masterpiece: The Mystic Nativity - Series 9, Ep 2 Of 2 / Director: Jones, Ian Michael
Published Australia : ABC1, 2009
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Description 1 streaming video file (50 min.) ; 296468057 bytes
Series The Private Life Of A Christmas Masterpiece ; Series 9, Episode 2
Summary One of the most popular paintings in the National Gallery in London, Botticelli's Mystic Nativity is a picture of hope in difficult times. The Private Life of a Christmas Masterpiece reveals the story behind this work of art.The Mystic Nativity is one of the most beautiful of all nativities, featuring beautiful flying angels and a blonde Madonna. It was painted in Florence around 1500, during a particularly turbulent period in the city's history.The ruling Medici family had been driven into exile; an invading French army had captured Milan and was preparing to march against Florence; plague and famine were on the horizon. Many Florentines - including Botticelli - regarded these troubles as proof that the Apocalypse and the end of the world were close.The program explores the connections between the symbolism in Botticelli's painting and the preachings of a radical Dominican monk, Girolamo Savonarola. Savonarola preached against the excesses of Florence's citizens, warning that the city was suffering because it had offended God.But despite the Mystic Nativity's potentially dangerous influences and its extremely subversive content, Botticelli felt very strongly about the picture - and was determined to be associated with it. The only painting he ever signed, it has a bizarre Greek inscription expressing Botticelli's apocalyptic fears and his conviction that man will be redeemed in heaven. The film goes on to explore the artwork's unlikely path to fame. The first Botticelli painting ever to reach England (in 1796), it was a long time before anyone recognised it as a great work of art. PRODUCTION DETAILS:Executive Producer: Jeremy Bugler. A Fulmar Television and Film production for BBC
Notes Closed captioning in English
Event Broadcast 2010-12-19 at 22:10:00
Notes Classification: G
Subject Botticelli, Sandro, 1444 or 1445-1510.
Christmas in art.
Nativity of Jesus Christ.
Painting, Italian -- Influence.
Savonarola, Girolamo, 1452-1498.
Italy -- Florence.
Form Streaming video
Author Jones, Ian Michael, director
West, Samuel, cast