Art critic Waldemar Januszczak in front of Van Gogh's self portrait

The Art Mysteries

Waldemar Januszczak is my favourite TV art critic (James Fox is second in case anyone cares). In The Art Mysteries, Januszczak showed just how much can be done in a 30-minute documentary. Each of the four episodes featured a painting by a giant of post impressionism: Van Gogh, Seurat, Gauguin and Cezanne. Januszczak delved into the symbolism, the context, and the meaning of each painting, his down-to-earth language delivering astonishing insight and appreciation without a hint of pretentious art-world snobbery. I especially enjoyed the Seurat programme, which focused on Les Poseuses. Inevitably each programme explored the artist more broadly, but only with Cezanne did it feel as if the painting was playing second fiddle with too much repetition about Mary Magdalene. But I would happily watch an Art Mystery every week. 9/10

Art critic Waldemar Januszczak in front of Van Gogh's self portrait

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