The National Gallery Star Trail

We were honoured to be approached by The National Gallery to produce their Christmas advertising campaign for the second year in succession.

It consisted of four videos exploring the significance of stars in artworks contained in the gallery's collection.

Filming out of hours amongst one of the world's greatest collections of art and getting to spend time surrounded by work of Turner, Pissarro & Titian and, of course, Hans Holbein whose The Ambassadors is one of the Gallery’s most popular attractions, is a rare privilege.

The films were launched on YouTube in the four weeks running up to Christmas. The first film ‘Painting Stars’ looked at how artistic techniques for rendering stars have evolved with our changing understanding of the universe, moving from Duccio’s fourteenth century masterpiece The Virgin and Child with Saints Dominic and Aurea to the evocation of light in Turner’s The Evening Star and Pissarro’s The Boulevard Montmartre at Night.

The Second Film ‘Stargazing’ examines the importance of Astrology in art history, tracing through not just paintings in the gallery’s collection such as A Young Astronomer by Olivier van Deuren, but also the extraordinary mosaic by Boris Anrep which graces the gallery’s entrance and Fasciculus Medicinae, a book dating from 1491 which is in the gallery’s archives. In addition to speaking to art experts we also filmed at The Royal Observatory in Greenwich to gain a better understanding of the development of Astrology as a science and to see some of the instruments featured in the art.

In the third film of the series, the gallery’s experts discuss two paintings by Tintoretto and Titian that use classical myth to explain the creation of the stars in the night sky.

The fourth and final film has a thoroughly festive theme and explores the role of the guiding star in four paintings all called The Adoration of the Kings and dating from 1480 through to 1649.

We've also written a case study for last year's Christmas advertising campaign video.

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