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100 Great Paintings

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Similar  The Impressionists, 1000 Meisterwerke, Kitty Cats

100 Great Paintings is a British television series broadcast in 1980 on BBC 2, devised by Edwin Mullins. He chose 20 thematic groups, such as war, the Adoration, the language of color, the hunt, and bathing, picking five paintings from each. The selection ranges from 12th-century China through the 1950s, with an emphasis on European paintings. He deliberately avoided especially famous paintings, such as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa or John Constable's The Haywain. The series is available on VHS or DVD.


On the basis of the series, Mullins published the book Great Paintings: Fifty Masterpieces, Explored, Explained and Appreciated (1981), which contained about half of the theme groups.

German television series

From 1980 through 1994, the German broadcaster WDR produced a television series called 1000 Meisterwerke (originally named 100 Meisterwerke aus den großen Museen der Welt; "100 Masterworks from the Great Museums of the World"), which was broadcast by ARD, ORF and BR. In each of the 10-minute broadcasts, a single painting was presented and analyzed by an art historian. The Sunday evening broadcasts had five million viewers.

From 100 to 1000

The Fine Arts Editor of WDR, Wibke von Bonin, developed the German version of the series. The series was produced by RM Arts, directed by Reiner E. Moritz, and narrated by Rudolf Jürgen Bartsch and the distinctive title melody was composed by Wilhelm Dieter Siebert.

Each episode showed and discussed one painting, with other paintings of the artist and of other artists being drawn in for comparison.

The German or the English version of the series was shown in West Germany, the USA, England, the Netherlands, South Africa, Austria, Scandinavia and Japan.

The German translation of Mullins' book appeared as 100 Meisterwerke in 1983. In 1985, a second volume came out, only in Germany, which discussed the remaining 50 paintings (see section Literature). The text in the books and the television series are largely the same.

After the end of the original series, it was continued under the title, 1000 Meisterwerke, only in Germany. The concept was changed, so that instead of theme groups, several pictures from the same museum were now grouped into a series of broadcasts. The emphasis was on German museums at first, and in addition, European museums and individual international museums were considered. Painters who had already appeared in "100 Meisterwerken" were not included at first. Many times, the authors of the episode were also the curators in charge of the painting. Occasionally, the fixed framework of the series was deviated from, such as when several paintings were treated in a single broadcast in the "Greek cycle", or when the painter, Konrad Klapheck, wrote the script about his own painting, but using the third person.

In 1986, Bonin received the Goldene Kamera award for her work and video cassettes on seven German museums were produced (see section Literature).

In 1987 and 1988, two more volumes of the book with the first 100 of the 1000 Meisterwerke were published. The series ended in 1994, but without coming near to 1000 episodes.

Today, the series is sporadically shown by 3sat, ARD-alpha and Classica (TV channel).


The German comedy series, Stenkelfeld, parodied "100 Meisterwerke" several times. Episode titles included "Die Hochzeitszeitung" (The Wedding Newspaper), "Die Tischdecke" (The Tablecloth), "Deutscher Behördenschreibtisch" (German Office Desk) and "Deutscher Wohnwagen" (German Mobile Home).

Das Testbild

In 1994 ORF produced, in the form of a regular episode of 1000 Meisterwerke, an ironic special called Das Testbild. It made TV test cards its subject: "Patrons are often at a loss in front of pictures like this one. Some will already have asked themselves silently if this really is art."

Selection of works presented

Here are the pictures of 100 Great Paintings.

  1. Josef Albers: Homage to the Square: Against Deep Blue (1955)
  2. Albrecht Altdorfer: The Battle of Alexander at Issus (1528–29)
  3. Giuseppe Arcimboldo The Fire
  4. Hendrick Avercamp: Winter Scene on a Canal (c. 1630)
  5. Francis Bacon: Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944)
  6. Hans Baldung Grien: Death and the Maiden (1517)
  7. Giacomo Balla: Abstract Speed + Sound (1913–14)
  8. Georg Baselitz: Allegory of Art
  9. Georg Baselitz: The Great Friends' (1965)
  10. Max Beckmann: Actors - Triptych (1941–42)
  11. Giovanni Bellini: Prayer of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane (c. 1465)
  12. Frits Van den Berghe: Sunday
  13. Umberto Boccioni: The Farewells (1911)
  14. Arnold Böcklin: Spring Awakening (1880)
  15. Pierre Bonnard: Backlit Nude (1908)
  16. Hieronymus Bosch: The Garden of Earthly Delights (c. 1500)
  17. Sandro Botticelli: The Birth of Venus (1478–1487)
  18. François Boucher: Marie-Louise O'Murphey (1751)
  19. Georges Braque: The Female Musician (1917–1918)
  20. Pieter Brueghel the Elder: Landscape with the Fall of Icarus' (c. 1550)
  21. Pieter Brueghel the Elder: The Triumph of Death
  22. Pieter Brueghel the Elder: The Hunters in the Snow (Return of the Hunters) (1565)
  23. Gustave Caillebotte: Parisian Street, Rainy Day (1877)
  24. Antonio Canaletto: Return of the Bucintoro to the Molo on Ascension Day (1734)
  25. Caravaggio: Supper at Emmaus (1596–1598)
  26. Caravaggio: The Lute Player (c. 1596)
  27. Vittore Carpaccio: Miracle of the Relic of the Cross at the Ponte di Rialto (1494)
  28. Annibale Carracci: River Landscape (c. 1595)
  29. Mary Cassatt: The Child's Bath (c. 1891)
  30. Paul Cézanne: Mont Sainte-Victoire (1897)
  31. Paul Cézanne: Bathers (c. 1900)
  32. Marc Chagall: I and the Village (1911)
  33. Jean Siméon Chardin: The Young Schoolmistress (before 1740)
  34. China: Clear Weather in the Valley (12th century)
  35. John Constable: Salisbury Cathedral (1823)
  36. Lovis Corinth: Self-portrait in Front of the Easel (1914)
  37. Correggio: Leda and the Swan (c. 1530)
  38. Gustave Courbet: Breakfast at the Hunt (1858)
  39. Lucas Cranach the Elder: Adam and Eve in Paradise (1531)
  40. Salvador Dalí: The Burning Giraffe (1936)
  41. Honoré Daumier: Ecce Homo (c. 1849–1852)
  42. Jacques-Louis David: The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons (1789)
  43. Edgar Degas: Woman in the Bath (1886)
  44. Eugène Delacroix: The Massacre at Chios (1824)
  45. Robert Delaunay: Eiffel Tower, Champs de Mars (1911)
  46. Sonia Delaunay-Terk: Electric Prisms (1914)
  47. Niklaus Manuel Deutsch: Pyramus and Thisbe (after 1523)
  48. Otto Dix: Flanders (1934–1936)
  49. Jean Dubuffet: Prosperous country (1944)
  50. Duccio: Christ Healing a Blind Man (1308–1310)
  51. Marcel Duchamp: Sad Young Man in a Train (1911)
  52. Albrecht Dürer: Picture of a Young Venetian Woman
  53. Albrecht Dürer: Self-portrait (1498)
  54. Anthony van Dyck: Samson and Delilah (c. 1628–1630)
  55. Thomas Eakins: Max Schmitt in a Single Scull (1871)
  56. James Ensor: Self-portrait with Masks (1899)
  57. Max Ernst: Attirement of the Bride (1939)
  58. Jan van Eyck: The Madonna of the Chancellor Rolin (1434)
  59. Lyonel Feininger: Bird Cloud (1926)
  60. Lucio Fontana: Concetto Spaziale (1957)
  61. Piero della Francesca: Resurrection of Christ (c. 1460)
  62. Piero della Francesca: The Birth of Christ (around 1480)
  63. Helen Frankenthaler: Mountains and Sea (1952)
  64. Caspar David Friedrich: Polar Sea (1822–1824)
  65. Henry Fuseli: Titania Caressing Note with Donkey's Head (1793)
  66. Thomas Gainsborough: Mr and Mrs Andrews (1748–1749)
  67. Paul Gauguin: Mahana no atua (Day of God) (1894)
  68. Théodore Géricault: The Raft of the Medusa (1819)
  69. Alberto Giacometti: Portrait of Jean Genet (1955)
  70. Giorgione: Sleeping Venus (1508)
  71. Giorgione or Titian: Pastoral Concert (c. 1510)
  72. Giotto: The Mourning of Christ (c. 1304–1306)
  73. Hugo van der Goes: Adoration of the Kings (around 1470)
  74. Vincent van Gogh: Self-portrait (1889)
  75. Vincent van Gogh: Café Terrace at Night (1888)
  76. Arshile Gorky: One Year the Milkweed (1944)
  77. Francisco Goya: The Colossus (attribution uncertain)
  78. Francisco Goya: The Naked Maja (c. 1800)
  79. Francisco Goya: Carnival Scene (1793)
  80. Benozzo Gozzoli: The Procession of the Magi (c. 1460)
  81. Gotthard Graubner: Black Skin (1969)
  82. El Greco: The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (1586)
  83. El Greco: View of Toledo (1600–1610)
  84. Juan Gris: The Breakfast Table (1915)
  85. George Grosz: Untitled (1920)
  86. Matthias Grünewald: Crucifixion from the Isenheim Altarpiece (1515)
  87. Erich Heckel: Convalescing Woman (1912–1913)
  88. Hannah Höch: Cut with the Kitchen Knife (1919–1920)
  89. Ferdinand Hodler: Youth Amired by the Woman (1903)
  90. Hans Holbein the Younger: Portrait of Mrs. Holbein with the Children, Katharina and Philipp (1528)
  91. Winslow Homer: The Fox Hunt (1893)
  92. Edward Hopper: Nighthawks (1942)
  93. William Holman Hunt: The Hireling Shepherd (1851)
  94. Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres: The Turkish Bath (1862)
  95. Johannes Itten: The Encounter (1916)
  96. Geertgen tot Sint Jans: John the Baptist in the Wilderness (c. 1485–1490)
  97. Alexej von Jawlensky: Meditation (1918)
  98. Jasper Johns: Flag (1954–1955)
  99. Wassily Kandinsky: Improvisation 6 (1910)
  100. Kangra-School: Radha and Krishna in the Garden (c. 1780)
  101. Wilhelm von Kaulbach: Titus Destroying Jerusalem (1846)
  102. Fernand Khnopff: The Caress
  103. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: Five Women on the Street (1913)
  104. Konrad Klapheck: The War (1965)
  105. Paul Klee: Bird Garden (1924)
  106. Franz Kline: C & O (1958)
  107. Wilhelm von Kobell: The Siege of Kosel (1808)
  108. Oskar Kokoschka: Bride of the Wind (1914)
  109. Jan Kupecky: Portrait of the Miniaturist Karl Bruni (1709)
  110. Fernand Léger: The Wedding (1911)
  111. Wilhelm Leibl: Three Women in Church (1878–1882)
  112. Franz von Lenbach: Franz von Lenbach with Wife and Daughters (1903)
  113. Roy Lichtenstein: Girl with Hair Band (1965)
  114. Max Liebermann: Women Mending Nets (1887–1889)
  115. Richard Lindner: The Meeting (1953)
  116. Stefan Lochner: Madonna in the Rose Bower (around 1448)
  117. Lorenzo Lotto: The Sleeping Child Jesus with the Madonna, St. Joseph and St. Catherine of Alexandria (c. 1533)
  118. Morris Louis: Beta-Kappa (1961)
  119. August Macke: The Hat Shop (1914)
  120. René Magritte: The Empire of Light (1954)
  121. Kazimir Malevich: An Englishman in Moskow
  122. Édouard Manet: Olympia (1863)
  123. Andrea Mantegna: The Crucifixion of Christ (1457–1460)
  124. Franz Marc: Tiger (1912)
  125. Hans von Marées: Golden Age (1879–1885)
  126. Reginald Marsh: Twenty Cent Movie
  127. Masaccio: The Tribute Money (c. 1425)
  128. Jan Matsys: Flora (1559)
  129. Henri Matisse: Bather at the River (1916–1917)
  130. Henri Matisse: Blue Nude (1907)
  131. William McTaggart: The Storm (1890)
  132. Hans Memling: St. John's Altarpiece (before 1494)
  133. Adolph von Menzel: The Flute Concert (1850–1852)
  134. Jean Metzinger: The Racing Cyclist (1914)
  135. John Everett Millais: Ophelia (1851–1852)
  136. Joan Miró: Dutch Interior I (1928)
  137. László Moholy-Nagy: LIS (1922)
  138. Claude Monet: Woman in a Garden (1867)
  139. Piet Mondrian: Apple Tree in Bloom (1912)
  140. Edvard Munch: Ashes
  141. Edvard Munch: Four Girls on the Bridge (1905)
  142. Gabriele Münter: Village Street in Winter (1911)
  143. Bartolomé Esteban Murillo: Rest on the Flight to Egypt
  144. Louis or Antoine Le Nain: Peasant Family (1640–1645)
  145. Paul Nash: Dream Landscape (1936–1938)
  146. Ernst Wilhelm Nay: Grauzug (1960)
  147. Mikhail Nesterov: The Great Consecration
  148. Emil Nolde: St. Mary of Egypt (1912)
  149. Georgia O'Keeffe: White Calico Flower
  150. Richard Oelze: Daily Stress (1934)
  151. Victor Pasmore: Inland Coastal Landscape (1950)
  152. Joachim Patinir: The Baptism of Christ (c. 1515)
  153. Constant Permeke: The Engaged Couple
  154. Francis Picabia: Very Rare Picture of Earth (1915)
  155. Pablo Picasso: Guernica (1937)
  156. Pablo Picasso: La Vie (1903–1904)
  157. Jackson Pollock: Autumn Rhythm (1950)
  158. Nicolas Poussin: The Adoration of the Golden Calf (1635)
  159. Nicolas Poussin: Reclining Venus with Amor (1630)
  160. Henry Raeburn: Rev. Robert Walker Skating (1784)
  161. Raffael: Madonna of the Meadow (1506)
  162. Arnulf Rainer: Self-portrait Overpainted (1962–1963)
  163. Rembrandt: The Jewish Bride (1666)
  164. Rembrandt: Self-portrait as Paul (1661)
  165. Auguste Renoir: Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880)
  166. Ilya Repin: Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV of Turkey (1880–1891)
  167. Sebastiano Ricci: Bathsheba in her Bath (c. 1720)
  168. Hyacinthe Rigaud: Portrait of Louis XIV. (1701)
  169. Hubert Robert: Design for the Arrangement of the Great Gallery of the Louvre des Louvre (1796)
  170. Giulio Romano: Virgin and Child and the Young John (c. 1518)
  171. Mark Rothko: Red, Brown and Black (1958)
  172. Carl Rottmann: From the Greek Cycle (1838–1850)
  173. Henri Rousseau: The Sleeping Gypsy (1897)
  174. Peter Paul Rubens: Château de Steen with Hunter (c. 1635–1637)
  175. Peter Paul Rubens: Mercury and Argus (1638)
  176. Jacob Isaakszoon van Ruisdael: The Large Forest (c. 1655–1660)
  177. Philipp Otto Runge: The Hülsenbeck Children (1805–1806)
  178. Pieter Saenredam: Interior of Grote Kerk in Haarlem (1648)
  179. Egon Schiele: Mother with Two Children (1915–1917)
  180. Karl Friedrich Schinkel: Medieval City on a River (1815)
  181. Oskar Schlemmer: Group on the Railings I (1931)
  182. Kurt Schwitters: Merzbild 25A, Constellation (1920)
  183. Georges Seurat: Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884–1886)
  184. Luca Signorelli: Portrait of an Older Man (c. 1500)
  185. Tawaraya Sōtatsu: Waves of Matsushima (c. 1630)
  186. Stanley Spencer: The Resurrection, Cookham (1924–1927)
  187. Carl Spitzweg: The Poor Poet (1839)
  188. George Stubbs: The Grosvenor Hunt (1762)
  189. Franz von Stuck: Salome (1906)
  190. Yves Tanguy: About Four O'clock in the Summer, the Hope (1929)
  191. Giovanni Battista Tiepolo: Virtue and Nobility Putting Ignorance to Flight (c. 1745)
  192. Jacopo Tintoretto: Bacchus, with Ariadne Crowned by Venus (after 1570)
  193. Titian: Bacchanals
  194. Titian: Diana and Callisto (1556–1559)
  195. Georges de La Tour: The Dream of St. Joseph (c. 1640)
  196. Georges de La Tour: The Fortune Teller (c. 1620–1621)
  197. William Turner: The Burning of the Houses of Parliament (1834–1835)
  198. William Turner: Venice - La Dogana and Santa Maria della Salute (1843)
  199. Paolo Uccello: The Battle of San Romano (c. 1456)
  200. Emilio Vedova: Picture of Time — Barrier (1951)
  201. Diego Velázquez: Las Meninas
  202. Diego Velázquez: Prince Balthasar Carlos (1635)
  203. Diego Velázquez: The Surrender of Breda (1634)
  204. Jan Vermeer: The Artist in his Atelier (c. 1670)
  205. Jan Vermeer: View of Delft (c. 1660)
  206. Paolo Veronese: The Wedding at Cana (1562–1563)
  207. Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun: Self-Portrait with Daughter (1789)
  208. Leonardo da Vinci: The Virgin and Child with St. Anne (c. 1510)
  209. Wolf Vostell: Miss America (1968)
  210. Andy Warhol: Texan, Portrait of Robert Rauschenberg (1963)
  211. Antoine Watteau: Pilgrimage to Cythera (1717)
  212. Rogier van der Weyden: Saint Johns Altarpiece (after 1450)
  213. James McNeill Whistler: Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (1877)
  214. David Wilkie: William Bethune with Wife and Daughter (1804)
  215. Fritz Winter: Composition in Blue (1953)
  216. Konrad Witz: The Knights Abisai, Sibbechai and Benaja Bring King David Water (c. 1435)
  217. Grant Wood: American Gothic (1930)
  218. Joseph Wright of Derby: An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (1767–1768)
  219. Andrew Wyeth: Christina's World (1948)
  220. Francisco de Zurbarán: Still Life: Lemons, Oranges and a Rose (1633)


  • Great Paintings: Fifty Masterpieces, Explored, Explained and Appreciated, Publ. Edwin Mullins, New York, St. Martin's Press, © BBC, Hardcover, 344 pp., 1981, ISBN 0-312-34636-0
  • Hundert Meisterwerke aus den großen Museen der Welt, vgs, Cologne, Hardcover
  • Vol. 1, Publ. Edwin Mullins, translated by Wibke von Bonin, Authors: Anita Brookner, Milton Brown, Hugh Casson, Richard Cork, David Hockney, John R. Hale, John Jacob, Penelope Mason, George Melly, Edwin Mullins, David Piper, Robert Rosenblum, Alistair Smith, 344 pp., 1983, ISBN 3-8025-2161-7
  • Vol. 2, Publ. Wibke von Bonin, Authors: Anita Brookner, Milton Brown, Hugh Casson, Richard Cork, John R. Hale, John Jacob, George Melly, Edwin Mullins, David Piper, Philip Rawson, Robert Rosenblum, Alistair Smith, 336 pp., 1985, ISBN 3-8025-2165-X
  • Vol. 3, Publ. Wibke von Bonin, Authors: Friedrich Gross, Joachim Heusinger von Waldegg, Gisela Hoßmann, Konrad Klapheck, Helmut R. Leppien, Renate Liebenwein, Reinhart Lohmann, Karin von Maur, Günter Metken, Edwin Mullins, Karlheinz Nowald, Sigrun Paas, Werner Schmalenbach, Wieland Schmied, Marina Schneede, Uwe M. Schneede, Jürgen Schultze, Evelyn Weiss, Hermann Wiesler, Frank Günter Zehnder, 342 pp., 1987, ISBN 3-8025-2170-6
  • Vol. 4, Publ. Wibke von Bonin, Authors: Ursula Bode, Barbara Catoir, G. Jula Dech, Gisela Hoßmann, Wenzel Jacob, Thomas Kellein, Renate Liebenwein, Karin von Maur, Edwin Mullins, Karlheinz Nowald, Stefan Oswald, Marina Schneede, Uwe M. Schneede, Jürgen Schultze, Hermann Wiesler, 342 pp., 1988, ISBN 3-8025-2180-3
  • Hundert Meisterwerke aus den großen Museen der Welt, DuMont creativ Video, Cologne, RM Arts, Munich, 50 minutes each, VHS, 1986
  • Part 1, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen Düsseldorf, Werner Schmalenbach, ISBN 3-7701-2043-4
  • Part 2, Staatliche Museen, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Nationalgalerie Berlin, Karlheinz Nowald, ISBN 3-7701-2046-9
  • Part 3, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus Munich, Jürgen Schultze, ISBN 3-7701-2049-3
  • Part 4, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum and Museum Ludwig Cologne, Frank Günter Zehnder, Evelyn Weiss, OCLC 84552969
  • Part 5, Staatliche Museen, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Gemäldegalerie Berlin-Dahlem, Karlheinz Nowald, Hermann Wiesler, ISBN 3-7701-2055-8
  • Part 6, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Sigrun Paas, ISBN 3-7701-2058-2
  • Part 7, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Neue Pinakothek München, Hermann Wiesler, Gisela Hossmann, ISBN 3-7701-2061-2
  • References

    100 Great Paintings Wikipedia