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The Queen of Sheba

   2005    History
The Queen of Sheba - an exotic and mysterious woman of power - is immortalised in the world's great religious works, among them the Hebrew Bible and the Muslim Koran. She also appears in Turkish and Persian painting, in Kabbalistic treatises, and in medieval Christian mystical works, where she is viewed as the embodiment of Divine Wisdom and a foreteller of the cult of the Holy Cross. In Africa and Arabia her tale is still told to this day and, indeed, her tale has been told and retold in many lands for nearly 3,000 years.
Series: Myths and Heroes

The Third of May 1808

   2004    Art
Arguably the most powerful painting about war ever achieved. It portrays the slaughter of civilians after Napoleonic troops entered Madrid in 1808. The programme reveals the historical truths behind the painting and shows exactly how Goya achieved this masterpiece of protest. he painting's content, presentation, and emotional force secure its status as a groundbreaking, archetypal image of the horrors of war. Although it draws on many sources from both high and popular art, The Third of May 1808 marks a clear break from convention. Diverging from the traditions of Christian art and traditional depictions of war, it has no distinct precedent, and is acknowledged as one of the first paintings of the modern era.
According to the art historian Kenneth Clark, The Third of May 1808 is 'the first great picture which can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention'. Discover how Goya used drawings by authentic witnesses to depict a real firing squad.
Series: The Private Life of a Masterpiece

To Death and Back

   2006    Art
Every day of our lives, we are bombarded by thousands of different images, images which affect us in countless different ways. But of all these there's one particular kind of image whose power is uniquely mesmerising, because while it terrifies us somehow it also comforts. But although it can manipulate us, it also reassures, It's the image of death.
Series: How Art Made the World

Travels with Vasari 1

   2009    Art
On a spectacular journey through Renaissance Italy, Andrew Graham-Dixon searches for the shadowy figure who wrote one of the most important books on art and looks at some dazzling works, including masterpieces of the early Renaissance by Giotto, Masaccio and Donatello. Giorgio Vasari was the grandaddy of all art critics, travelling Italy in the 16th century for his definitive Lives of the Artists. It was a time of miracles that he named 'the Renaissance'.
Series: Travels with Vasari

Travels with Vasari 2

   2009    Art
Andrew Graham-Dixon retraces Vasari's footsteps for this captivating two-part film in a short Art of Italy season. He's an enthusiastic guide, lapsing easily into Italian conversation with the custodians of galleries and chapels who allow him a private view. From Brunelleschi's Duomo in Florence to less familiar marvels - a Donatello sculpture; Masaccio frescoes - he illustrates how rapidly ideas developed. A final treat for him - and us - is a tour of the Vasari Corridor, a rarely accessed gallery that zigzags across the Florentine rooftops.
Series: Travels with Vasari
How the Universe Works Season 4
How the Universe Works Season 4

   2015    Science
Seven Ages of Rock
Seven Ages of Rock

   2007    Art
Natural World
Natural World

   2017    Nature
Oceans
Oceans

   2009    Nature
Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist

   2007    Culture
Everything and Nothing
Everything and Nothing

   2011    Science
Through the Wormhole Season 6
Through the Wormhole Season 6

   2015    Science
Japan Earth Enchanted Islands
Japan Earth Enchanted Islands

   2017    Nature