A major 14 part television series in which art historian Tim Marlow takes a fresh look at the most important artworks of some of the greatest artists in history. Shot on location in over 50 galleries, museums, churches and palaces throughout Europe and the United States, this series is a comprehensive survey of the history of Western art. Both intelligent and informative, the series aims to provide an uncomplicated and accessible analysis of the works and artists featured including Bruegal, Durer, El Greco, Giotto, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian, Turner, Van Gogh, Velazquez & Vermeer. Great Artists stays true to its name by building the program around its host and presenter, British TV personality Tim Marlow, the affable Marlow serves as a knowledgeable guide who illuminates but never upstages the magnificent artwork he’s chatting about. Each episode follows Marlow as he journeys to the various cities in which the artists lived. When he goes into detail on specific works of art, he is right there in front of the piece demonstrating its significance. The camerawork gets extremely up close with the art, often revealing details and textures that one normally wouldn’t be able to see (even in a museum). Marlow’s scripts are casual and informative, if tending towards the scholarly. If there’s one flaw with Marlow, it’s that he tends to fixate on recurring themes in certain artists’ work, such as the sensuality in Michelangelo’s painting and sculpture. The straightforward approach he takes is probably better suited for the classroom, but the luscious photography can be appreciated by everyone. On location footage of modern day European cities like Venice and Delft, many of which haven’t changed much in centuries, add considerably to the look and feel of the show. The new footage sometimes creates an unfortunate juxtaposition, such as when Marlow speaks of Raphael’s consorting with prostitutes while unsuspecting female tourists are seen walking about. For the most part it serves as an enticing travelogue, however. Since each episode is less than a half hour long, the programs jump through an artist’s life and work quickly. The show itself actually benefits from a relaxed, breezy tone, though and Marlow’s cheery enthusiasm about the art is infectious.