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Roads to Revolution

   2009    Art
Andrew Graham-Dixon explores how Russia changed from a feudal nation of aristocratic excess to a hotbed of revolution at the beginning of the 20th century and how art moved from being a servant of the state to an agent of its destruction. From monuments that celebrate the absolutism of the tsars to the epic Russian landscape as inspiration; from the design and construction of gold and glittering palaces to the minutiae of diamond-encrusted Faberge eggs; and eventually to the stark and radical paintings of the avant-garde, the journey through Russian art history is one of extraordinary beauty and surprise.
Series: The Art of Russia

The French Revolution: Tearing Up History

   2014    Art
A journey through the dramatic and destructive years of the French Revolution, telling its history in a way not seen before - through the extraordinary story of its art. Our guide through this turbulent decade is the constantly surprising Dr Richard Clay, an art historian who has spent his life decoding the symbols of power and authority.

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

   2004    Art
This award-winning series, Private Life of a Masterpiece, reveals the full and fascinating stories behind famous works of art, not just how they came to be created, but also how they influenced others and came to have a life of their own in the modern world. The works of art featured here are both instantly familiar and profoundly mysterious. Revolutionary in their conception, and iconic years after their execution, they each have their own compelling stories. For behind the beautiful canvases and sculptures are tales of political revolution, wartime escapes, massive ego clashes, social scandal, financial wrangling and shocking violence. In this fascinating series key works of art are investigated and the intricate details of their lives revealed - the history, contemporary reactions, and legacies of each are illustrated.
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is a popular masterpiece and yet an enduring enigma. It seems to show a quiet scene in a Paris park but there are hints at the demi-monde, if you know where to look. The most remarkable aspect of this vast canvas however remains Seurat's technique his revolutionary pointillism.
Series: The Private Life of a Masterpiece

Liberty Leading the People

   2005    Art
Artists, academics, and critics discuss the historical origins, original reception, and slow climb to critical acclaim for Eugene Delacroix's painting commemorating the Revolution of 1830, 'Liberty Leading the People.'
A woman of the people with a phrygian cap personifying the concept of Liberty leads the people forward over a barricade and the bodies of the fallen, holding the flag of the French Revolution – the tricolour, which again became France's national flag after these events – in one hand and brandishing a bayonetted musket with the other. The figure of Liberty is also viewed as a symbol of France and the French Republic known as Marianne.
Series: The Private Life of a Masterpiece

Smashing the Mould

   2009    Art
The final part examines political revolution and how art was at the forefront of throwing out 1,000 years of royal rule, from its earliest revolutionary days of enthusiasm and optimism when painting died, the poster was king and the machine-made triumphed over the handmade to the dead hand of Socialist Realism. Andrew roots out great portraits of Stalin now hidden in museum storerooms and never on public view, looks at the transformation of the Moscow metro into a great public art gallery and visits the most stunning creation of post-war Communist rule, the Space Monument. Finally, he comes to the confusion and chaos of Russia today and how it is producing some of the world's strangest art - from heroic sculptures of Russian leader Vladimir Putin to the insides of a giant erotic apple; from the recreation of the Imperial royal family facing the firing squad to sculpture in liquid oil; from Russia's embrace of the commercial art market to a return to Socialist Realism. Russia seems to stand on another brink of revolution.
Series: The Art of Russia
Catalyst
Catalyst

   2017    Science
Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan
Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan

   2021    History
Blue Planet II
Blue Planet II

   2017    Nature
Love On The Spectrum
Love On The Spectrum

   2019    Culture
Top Gear
Top Gear

   2012    Technology
The Secret History of Writing
The Secret History of Writing

   2020    History