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These "portrait" DVDs are written and presented by Dr Ian Guthridge who lived and lectured in Rome for ten years, and who has run successful tours in most of the major cities for many years. Dr Guthridge is highly qualified as your 'Tour Guide' and offers a unique and rich "virtual" travel experience.

Professionally produced to a high standard, the DVDs are designed for the inquiring traveller and art-lover, rather than for the average tourist - for those who are not content to see things, take a few snap-shots, and then move on, but who want to see more, learn more, and feel more, in a Voyage of Discovery into the particular wonderland that is Florence or Venice or Paris or St. Petesburg.   Dr Guthridge distills a lifetime's work and 'brings alive' each city's story - the people and events that 'shaped' its culture and personality - so that we can more fully appreciate its history, architecture, art and influence in context.

Like all Medici School publications, they are designed to inform but they are primarily for your enjoyment. So for those who are planning to travel, these DVDs could be their homework; for those who have already travelled, they could revive memories and throw more light on them; or for those who prefer to "arm-chair travel" in the comfort of their own home, they could unfold a world of wonder to enjoy exploring and dreaming about.

Portrait of FLORENCE ISBN: 978-0-9588645-6-5

Florence is a city for all seasons and tastes. A picturesque city nestling in the Valley of the Arno, its skyline is pierced by spires and domes from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, all built solidly in pepper-coloured stone; and these enshrine art treasures with few parallels elsewhere.

The Duomo (or Cathedral), for example, with Brunelleschi's mighty dome; the Baptistery with Ghiberti's splendid bronze doors; Santa Groce with Michelangelo and Galileo facing each other across the entrance; San Marco with Fra Angelico's mystical visions of Paradise; the Uffizi and Pitti Galleries with works by Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo and beyond; the Academia with Michelangelo's David and Slaves - and much more.

Chapters: Layout & Landmarks, History, Santa Croce, Duomo Square, Uffizi & Pitti, Other Galleries.

Produced in 2009. PAL format. Runs for approximately 90 minutes.

DVD Price: A$30 + GST & delivery

Portrait of SICILY AND ROME ISBN: 9-780987-606549

In carving out Europe's first empire, and building Europe's first imperial city, Rome - more than any other city - created the West we know today; and it remained central as the capital of Western Christendom. In the city itself, we shall explore the Forum, Colosseum, Circus and Baths - not just what they looked like, but how they "worked" in daily life. Then, more briefly, the Catacombs and early Christian basilicas, which are more significant than many imagine. And finally, Renaissance Rome, in St Peter's, the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Stanze, and Bernini in St Peter's, the Borghese Gallery and the Fountains of Rome.

In Sicily, with its picturesque coastline and massive Mr. Etna, we may be suprised to discover the formbidable remains of successive civilizations that settled there: at Segesta and Agrigento, well-preserved Greek temples and theatres from the time of the Parthenon; at Taormina, the vast Roman theatre; at Piazza Armermina, "video-type" mosiacs of Roman life in the Villa Imperiale; and in Palermo, Monreale and Cefalù, splendid Medieval abbeys and cathedrams - Norman in their architecture, but Byzantine in their brilliant mosaics, and with honeycomb Arab ceilings above.

Chapters: Italy - Segesta Agrigento, Piazza Armarina, Taormina, Cefalù, Palermo Montreale. Rome - Layout, History, Forum, Colosseum, Circus, Baths, Ostia, Pompeii, Catacombs, St Peter's Sistine Chapel, Raphael, Bernini, Fountains.

Produced December 2014. PAL format. Runs for approximately 100 minutes.

DVD Price: A$30 + GST & delivery

Portrait of UMBRIA-TUSCANY ISBN: 978-0-9876065-2-5

If you wonder why many modern film-makers have chosen Umbria or Tuscany as the setting for their films - A Room with a View, Tea with Mussolini, and Enchanted April, among others - many reasons spring to mind: thousand-year-old rugged, stone-clad city-centres like those in Assisi, Lucca and San Gimignano; splendid cathedrals in shining white marble, like those in Orvieto, Pisa and Siena; breath-taking views from the hill-tops on which many of these cities are perched; unexpected encounters with great, but less-well-known, Medieval or Renaissance masters such as Maitani, Fra Lippo Lippi and Piero della Francesca; the shops and restaurants with their local foods and wines - and so much more. No wonder many of our finest actors jump at the prospect of spending a month or two in these "enchanted" settings.

In this DVD, we embark on a leisurely "tour" in search of all this - not hurrying by to take a few quick snap-shots, but pausing to get up close and personal, in order to see and marvel at what's really there.

Chapters: Orvieto, Spoleto, Assisi, Perugia, Gubbio; A Villa in Tuscany, Pisa, Lucca, Siena, San Gimignano.

Produced in 2014. PAL format. Runs for approximately 110 minutes.

DVD Price: A$30 + GST & delivery

Portrait of VENICE ISBN: 978-0-9588645-7-2

Set like a jewel in its blue lagoon, with domes and bell-towers piercing the skyline and shimmering in the waters below, Venice is the Dream City 'par excellence'. For St Mark's Square is surely the most romantic city-centre in the West, with St Mark's at one end ablaze with mosaics, and shaded porticoes down the other three sides. From there, the Grand Canal winds past elegant 'palazzi' mostly built in the city's medieval heyday, before it became the playground of Europe for centuries after that. No wonder Venice has been celebrated in so many paintings, diaries, novels and films from the 1300's until today.

In this Portrait of Venice, we explore the brilliant tapestry of the city's art, architecture and music; its expertise in glass and mosaics; the pomp and pageantry of its Carnevale; and the beauty of neighbouring Murano, Burano and Torcello. And along the way, we shall encounter many surprises, and enjoy excerpts of music from the city's great composers.

Chapters: Grand Canal, St Mark's, Doge's Palace, Carnevale, Accademia Gallery, Music, Murano, Burano, Torcello, Twilight Return.

Produced in 2009. PAL format. Runs for approximately 120 minutes.

DVD Price: A$30 + GST & delivery

Portrait of ST PETERSBURG ISBN:978-0-9588645-8-9

No European capital city ever rose so rapidly and so splendidly as Peter the Great's 'Window on the West' - St. Petersburg. For within a century of its foundation in 1703, the settings and interiors of its four imperial palaces - the Hermitage, Peterhof, Pushkin and Pavlovsk - rivalled those of Versailles, just as today's Hermitage collection of Western art rivals the Louvre in the breadth and depth of the works displayed there.

Exploring the settings and brilliant facades and interiors of these palaces, we shall meet Peter the Great and his formidable Tsarina successors, Elizabeth and Catherine the Great, and marvel at the splendours they left behind.

After cruising along the city's canals, framed by the elegant palaces of its age-old aristocracy, we shall visit the less well-known Russian Museum, where we shall meet Russia's great composers and writers from Glinka to Tchaikovsky and from Pushkin to Tolstoi and beyond - along with even less well-known Russian painters who, as we shall see, would become worthy rivals of the Impressionists in Paris.

Chapters: Tsars and Setting; Hermitage; Canals; Peterhof, Pushkin, Pavlovsk; Fabergé; Russian Museum; writers and composers; Church of the Holy Blood.

Produced in 2009. PAL format. Runs for approximately 90 minutes.

DVD Price: A$30 + GST & delivery

Portrait of MOSCOW TO ST PETERSBURG ISBN: 978-0-9876065-5-6

If there is more to St Petersburg than the Hermitage, there is more to Russia than St Petersburg - especially in Moscow. For example, the Kremlin in Moscow is arguably the most spectacular city centre in Europe - enclosed within its 2,000-metre-long, red brick walls, with the gilded onion domes of its bell-towers and cathedrals piercing the skyline. Nearby, the Armoury Museum displays a unique royal collection of thrones, crowns, Fabergé eggs etc. And alongside the Kremlin, Red Square - once a moat - is enclosed by St Basil's which looks like something out of the Arabian Nights. Nearby, the Pushkin Museum contains the other half of the Hermitage collection of "Western" art (including the Impressionists); and across the river, the Tretyakov collection of "Russian" art brings us face to face with Russia's great writers, artists and composers.

Then, sailing on the mighty Volga, we berth at the rich and historic trading cities of Uglich, Kostroma and Yaroslavl - with further examples of Russia's formidable artistic and architectural heritage. And finally, in St Petersburg, we briefly explore the Hermitage Palace and its collection, along with the Pushkin and Peterhof Palaces on the city's outskirts - all of these being splendid Russian variations on Louis XIV's earlier Palace of Versailles.

Chapters: Moscow Kremlin, Wider Moscow, Novodevichiy, Zagorsk, On the Volga, Uglich, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Karelia-Kizhi, St Petersburg.

Produced in 2014. PAL format. Runs for approximately 85 minutes.

DVD Price: A$30 + GST & delivery

A Romantic Journey Through Time

Boarding our magic carpet, we embark on a "Romantic Journey Through Time" - from Ancient Egypt and Iraq, through Athens and Rome, to Venice, Florence, London, Paris and New York...

Why? Because many of the major landmarks of these historic cities remain the wonders of our modern world - from the Pyramids and the Parthenon to the Arc de Triomphe and the Statue of Liberty. But also because, seen in sequence rather than in isolation, each will reveal itself as a single vibrant thread in the tapestry of human development from where it all began to where we are today - in art and architecture, music, religion and science.

Along the way, abandoning our traditional focus on the West, we shall also make brief detours into China, India, the Ancient Americas, and the Arab and Islamic world; for, now more than ever, they are part of our global world, and their comparable achievements in many fields have also made a significant contribution to the West.

Chapters: Disc1-Egypt, Iraq, Jerusalum; Constantinople, Cordoba; Pisa, Venice; Bruges, Moscow. Disc II-Florence; Chinese painting; Spain; the Discoveries; Amersterdam; London; Vienna; Berlin; St Petersburg; Paris; New York.

Produced in 2009. PAL format. 2 Disk Set. Total running time of approximately 124 minutes.

DVD Price: A$30 + GST & delivery

Portrait of PARIS ISBN: 978-0-9807047-0-9

Nestling in the broad valley of the Seine, dating back to Roman times and beyond, and famous for its foods, its fashions and the gaiété of its night-life, Paris also boasts a unique mushroom-crop of splendid landmarks - from the Bastille to Notre Dame and the Louvre, and from there to the Champs Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.

Moreover, the art collections of the Louvre and elsewhere rank second to none, while Notre Dame and the Sainte Chapelle, along with the Carnavalet and Cluny Museums, deserve closer scrutiny than they commonly receive.

But Paris also boasts a host of famous personalities, and especially women: from Joan of Arc to Madame de Pompadour and Voltaire, and from Marie Antoinette to Napoleon and Josephine - among others whom we shall meet along the way.

So while leaving the Impressionists and the Musée d'Orsay for a separate DVD, this Portrait should generate a deeper and wider experience and understanding of this great city.

Chapters: What's Where, Who's Who, Bastille & Carnavale Museum, Notre Dame & Sainte Chapelle, Lady of the Unicorn, The Louvre, The Arc de Triomphe, The Eiffel Tower, Gardens of the Louvre.

Produced in 2009. PAL format. Runs for approximately 96 minutes.

DVD Price: A$30 + GST & delivery

Portrait of FRANCE AND BEYOND ISBN: 978-0-9876065-3-2

Each year, the Tour de France keenly reminds us that there is much more to France than Paris. From Roman times, Arles and Nimes, with their two-thousand-year-old amphitheatres; from the old Medieval pilgrim routes to Santiago, a spider-web complex of charming abbeys and towns such as Vezelay and Conques - with later splendid cathedrals to follow at Chartres and Reims; walled cities such as Carcassonne, Beaune and Cordes; fortified chateaux such as Joan of Arc's Chinon, and later Renaissance chateau such as Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceaux and Villandry with its terraced gardens.

Chapters: Chantilly, Reims; Vezelay, Beaune; Rouen, Bayeux, Giverny; Mont St Michel, Chartres; Chateaux of the Loire; Brantome, Rocamadour, Conques; Albi, Cordes, Carcassonne; the Auvergne, Avignon; Arles, Nimes; Nice, Monaco.

Produced in 2014. PAL format. Runs for approximately 110 minutes.

DVD Price: A$30 + GST & delivery

The IMPRESSIONISTS ISBN: 978-0-9807047-1-6

Despite the universal popularity of the Impressionists today, there is much more to see and enjoy in their works than meets the eye of the casual observer. For the painters themselves have a story to tell - Manet, for example, and Monet, Renoir, Gauguin and van Gogh. And so do the people they painted - Manet's Olympia, for example, or the successive models of Renoir, the epitome of beauty in the Paris of the belle epoque.

Moreover, the paintings herald the Dawn of Modern Art, for they abandon the religious, mythological and heroic themes of the past to focus on the new middle class world of their time; and they are painted in a new style which abandons the canons of Renaissance art, to absorb new theories of colour, fresh insights from the invention of photography and the influx of Japenese prints, and the practice of painting out of doors instead of in the studio. Meanwhile, as we shall see, all the Impressionists were deeply involved with the writers and composers of their time. So this deceptively simple Dawn of Modern Art opens windows on a new world...

Chapters: Background, History, Manet & Degas, Monet, Sisley & Pissarro, Renoir & Rodin, Morisot, Cassatt; Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec; Seurat, Cezanne; Music; van Gogh.

Produced in 2010. PAL format. Runs for approximately 85 minutes.

DVD Price: A$30 + GST & delivery

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