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The Art of Russia: Out of the Forest

   2009    Art
Art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon tells the incredible story of Russian art, its mystery and magnificence and until now a story untold. He explores the origins of the Russian icon from its roots in Byzantium and the first great Russian icon, Our Lady of Vladimir to the masterpieces of the country's most famous icon painter, Andrei Rublev. Both epic and awe-inspiring, and producing brilliant art", nevertheless medieval Russia could be a terrifying place. Criss-crossing the epic landscape, Andrew visits the monastery founded by Ivan the Terrible, where his favourite forms of torture found inspiration in religious art. One man would shine a light into Russia's 'dark' ages - Peter the Great who, surprisingly, took as his inspiration Deptford in South London.
Series: The Art of Russia

Art of Eternity: Painting Paradise

   2007    Art
How should art depict the relationship between man and God? How can art best express eternal values? Can you and should you portray the face of Christ? For over 1,000 years these were some of the questions which taxed the minds of the greatest artists of the early West. In this three-part series, art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon sets out to unravel the mysteries of art from the pre-perspective era". In the first episode, Andrew traces the beginnings of Christian art in the declining Roman Empire, Egypt and medieval France, and reveals the ideas which lay behind the transition
Series: Art of Eternity

Goya: Crazy Like A Genius

   2007    Art
Written and presented by Robert Hughes, one of the world’s most prominent art commentators, this program explores the life and work of Francisco Goya—focusing on the painter’s subversive, often gruesome outlook. The video provides in-depth visual and intellectual analysis of dark Goya masterpieces, including The Dream of Reason, Witches in the Air, and The Third of May, as well as examples of his portraiture and early work—such as The Duchess of Alba, both Majas, and a gratuitously violent tapestry painting. Links between Goya’s work, deafness, and political stance are explored in detail, while observations from painter Leon Golub highlight Goya’s continuing relevance.

The Beauty of Maps: Medieval Maps

   2010    Art
This documentary series charting the visual appeal and historical meaning of maps. The Hereford Mappa Mundi, the largest intact Medieval wall map in the world, its ambition to picture all of human knowledge in a single image is breathtaking. The work of a team of artists, the world it portrays is overflowing with life, featuring Classical and Biblical history, contemporary buildings and events, animals and plants from across the globe, and the infamous 'monstrous races' which were believed to inhabit the remotest corners of the Earth.
Series: The Beauty of Maps

Van Gogh

   2006    Art
Born in Groot-Zundert, The Netherlands, Van Gogh spent his early life as an art dealer, teacher and preacher in England, Holland and Belgium. His period as an artist began in 1881 when he chose to study art in Brussels, starting with watercolours and moving quickly on to oils. The French countryside was a major influence on his life and his early work was dominated by sombre, earthy colours depicting peasant workers, the most famous of which is The Potato Eaters, 1885. It was during Van Gogh's studies in Paris (1886-8) that he developed the individual style of brushwork and use of colour that made his name. In 1888 he moved to Arles where the Provençal landscape provided his best-known subject matter. However, it also marked the start of his mental crisis following an argument with his contemporary Paul Gauguin. Van Gogh was committed to a mental asylum in 1889 where he continued to paint, but he committed suicide in 1890.
Series: Power of Art

Adoration in the Forest

   2010    Art
Painted over five centuries ago, Filippo Lippi's nativity is like none other: it shows the birth of Christ in a dark, wooded wilderness. There are no shepherds, kings, ox, ass – there is no Joseph. Its beauty inspired Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli. But it also conceals a deeply personal story. It was painted for Cosimo de Medici, a wealthy banker who feared that his money was dragging him straight to hell. The artist's life was equally surprising. One of the most celebrated painters of his day, Filippo Lippi was also a Carmelite friar, but he was no stranger to the temptations of the flesh, to which he frequently yielded. Shortly before painting his Adoration, he caused uproar by seducing a twenty year-old nun. His paintings rejoice not only in divine beauty, but in the beauty of women. In later times, the Adoration's history was interwoven with that of rulers and dictators. It became a bargaining chip after Napoleon's allies seized twenty merchant ships. And in the 20th century, it was hidden by the Nazis in a potassium mine, where specialist american officers, known as Monuments Men, stumbled upon it. they were now told to get it ready to be shipped out. In an unprecedented turn of events they refused. This is the only known case in the whole of the Second World War of American officers refusing an order. It was sent to the National Gallery of Art, but in 1949 Lippi's Adoration was returned to Germany.
Series: The Private Life of a Masterpiece
Top Gear

Top Gear

2012  Technology
The Last Dance

The Last Dance

2020  Culture
Big Oil vs The World

Big Oil vs The World

2022  Nature
Minimalism

Minimalism

2015  Culture
Wild Wild Country

Wild Wild Country

2018  Culture
History of the Eagles

History of the Eagles

2013  History