An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump

For educational and documentary series, from History Channel, National Geographic, etc.
Post Reply
Adam Cook
Registered user
Registered user
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:59 pm
Been thanked: 4 times

An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump

Post by Adam Cook » Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:05 pm

An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump


An_Experiment_on_a_Bird_in_the_Air_Pump.2006.BBC_Doc.WS.DVBC.XviD-ACP.avi  [639.75 Mb]


An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump @ The National Gallery
BBC Link

[ Image ]
A travelling scientist is shown demonstrating the formation of a vacuum by withdrawing air from a flask containing a white cockatoo, though common birds like sparrows would normally have been used. Air pumps were developed in the 17th century and were relatively familiar by Wright's day. The artist's subject is not scientific invention, but a human drama in a night-time setting.

The bird will die if the demonstrator continues to deprive it of oxygen, and Wright leaves us in doubt as to whether or not the cockatoo will be reprieved. The painting reveals a wide range of individual reactions, from the frightened children, through the reflective philosopher, the excited interest of the youth on the left, to the indifferent young lovers concerned only with each other.

The figures are dramatically lit by a single candle, while in the window the moon appears. On the table in front of the candle is a glass containing a skull.



Ben Woolley tells the story of a neglected masterpiece: Joseph Wright of Derby's An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump. Until recently, Wright was dismissed by many art critics as a minor provincial but Wright was in fact a virtuoso painter whose scientific paintings give a unique insight into the Enlightenment in Britain.

Ben Woolley's deconstruction of this epic painting takes him from Wright's birthplace in Derby to East Germany, where he witnesses a reconstruction of the famous Magdeburg hemispheres experiment. He visits London's Royal Society and uncovers the strange history of animal experimentation in the 18th century.

[ Image ]

Code: Select all

GSpot v2.5b8 avi file details:
 ------------------------------
 Filename.....: An_Experiment_on_a_Bird_in_the_Air_Pump.2006.BBC_Doc.WS.DVBC.XviD-ACP.avi
 Filesize.....: 670,829,972 bytes
 Runtime......: 00:59:01 (88521 frames)
 Aspect Ratio.: 624x352 () [=]
 Video Codec..: XviD (B-VOP//)
 Video Bitrate: 995 kbps
 Framerate....: 25 fps
 Audio Codec..: 0x0055(MP3, ISO) MPEG-1 Layer 3
 Audio Bitrate: 126kbps 2ch VBR 48000Hz
 Language.....: English

Unpacked Bitstream

Post Reply

Return to “Educational”