Fundamentals of Photography II (The Great Courses)

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Great photography goes beyond knowing about how lenses and f-stops work. It’s about creative problem solving under real-world conditions. Taking great photographs means knowing how to choose the right tool or apply the right technique to capture your subject in the best possible way. Photographers who wish to excel—professional and recreational alike—need to have a […]

How to Draw (The Great Courses)

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Drawing is one of humanity’s oldest forms of expression, with existing examples dating back an astonishing 80,000 years or more. Older than written language by tens of thousands of years, drawing developed across millennia, forming the base of many of the world’s artistic traditions. Like reading and writing, drawing is a fundamental life skill. Once […]

National Geographic Masters of Photography (The Great Courses)

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Photography is an art. We may all take pictures—now more than ever—but to rise above the level of a snapshot, you need to go beyond shooting and hoping for the best. You need to actually understand what you’re doing and anticipate the results. The best way to learn any art form, including the art of […]

Fundamentals of Photography (The Great Courses)

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Photographs are more than just snapshots. When taken the right way, they become dramatic personal statements with the power to last forever. They can transport you to distant landscapes, capture fleeting emotions, recall cherished memories, reveal the beauty of daily life, and even change the world. With recent developments in technology, we now take and […]

30 Masterpieces of the Ancient World (The Great Courses)

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When people think of the masterpieces of art, painters such as Gauguin or Picasso might spring to mind. But thousands of years before these modern masters put brush to canvas, artists from all over the ancient world, from France to Egypt to South America, created a trove of masterpieces—artwork stunning for its opulence, its realism, […]

Art of the Northern Renaissance (The Great Courses)

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What does is it mean to see a painting—and is seeing it the same thing as understanding it? Hieronymus Bosch’s monumental Garden of Earthly Delights is instantly recognizable to most lovers of Renaissance art, and as Professor Catherine B. Scallen explains, it has been admired, looked on with shock, and puzzled over for 500 years. […]

Genius of Michelangelo (The Great Courses)

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The Sistine Chapel ceiling. The Pietà. The David. The Last Judgment. The Moses. The Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. Michelangelo’s artistic achievements, in their scope and execution, seem unimaginable. His brilliance is apparent in every medium he worked in and with every tool he used. Today, more than 500 years after his unique artistry burst […]

Physics of History (The Great Courses)

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In April 1991, two Alpine hikers stumbled across the well-preserved body of a Copper Age hunter half-buried in a glacier on the border between Italy and Austria. This accidental discovery, nicknamed Ötzi the Iceman, possessed a trove of invaluable information about the origins of prehistoric people. Yet while standard archaeological techniques revealed many interesting aspects […]

Leonardo da Vinci and the Italian High Renaissance (The Great Courses)

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In the grand history of the Western world, there is no single individual whose name is more synonymous with inventiveness, curiosity, and creative genius than Leonardo da Vinci. His life and works would not just remake the Renaissance in Italy—they would go on to inspire developments and innovations in our own world. Leonardo has always […]

Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt (The Great Courses)

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Holland in the 17th century was home to the most remarkable concentration of artistic talent and accomplishment in modern history. From this tiny land came the great masters Vermeer, Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, and Rembrandt, as well as an abundant assembly of memorable artists. To this day, these compelling pictures take our […]