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The Secret Life of Landfill: A Rubbish History
Happy People A Year in the Taiga
Carlos Ghosn: The Last Flight
That Sugar Film
Touching the Void
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle 1of2
Walk with Me
Walking with Cavemen: The Survivors
Kurt Cobain Montage of Heck
Conquest and Collapse
The Stolen Eagle
Enter the One-Eyed Dragon
The Year Earth Changed
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Travels with Vasari 1
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'.
Travels with Vasari
The series concludes by delving into the world of satirical maps. How did maps take on a new form, not as geographical tools, but as devices for humour, satire or storytelling? Graphic Artist Fred Rose perfectly captured the public mood in 1880 with his General Election maps featuring Gladstone and Disraeli, using the maps to comment upon crucial election issues still familiar to us today. Technology was on the satirist's side with the advent of high-speed printing allowing for larger runs at lower cost. In 1877, when Rose produced his 'Serio Comic Map of Europe at War', maps began to take on a new direction and form, reflecting a changing world. Rose's map exploited these possibilities to the full using a combination of creatures and human figures to represent each European nation. The personification of Russia as a grotesque-looking octopus, extending its tentacles around the surrounding nations, perfectly symbolised the threat the country posed to its neighbours.
The Beauty of Maps
Rembrandt's success in his early years was as a portrait painter to the rich denizens of Amsterdam at a time when the city was being transformed from a small nondescript port into the economic capital of the world. His historical and religious paintings also gave him wide acclaim. Despite being known as a portrait painter Rembrandt used his talent to push the boundaries of painting. This direction made him unpopular in the later years of his career as he shifted from being the talk of the town to becoming adrift in the Amsterdam art scene and criticised by his peers.
Power of Art
Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dali
Salvador Dali's strange crucifixion is often called the greatest religious painting of the 20th century. Yet its artist was a notorious blasphemer some of whose work had outraged the Catholic Church. The Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dali is the first of two extraordinary crucifixions painted by Dali in the early 1950s. The painting is based on a 'cosmic dream' Dali is said to have had, in which the nucleus of the atom was a figure of Christ himself.
The painting offers a surrealist view of the crucifixion of Christ, and is based on a drawing by the 16th century Spanish friar Saint John of the Cross. But Dali's vision was somewhat unique, using an unusual artistic perspective in which Christ is seen from above. His Christ of St. John of The Cross was inspired by a weird mix of Spanish mysticism and nuclear physics, with his Christ being modelled by a Hollywood stuntman. It's also a masterpiece of painting technique.
The Private Life of a Masterpiece
Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear
Waldemar Januszczak sets out to uncover the secret meanings hidden in four famous paintings by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Seurat. Everyone knows the pictures. They are among the most celebrated masterpieces of art. And yet, hidden inside them are codes and puzzles that no one has been able to decipher.
Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear was painted soon after he cut off his ear with a razor. But how much do we really know about it? In a far-ranging investigation, Waldemar Januszczak delves into the clues hidden in the painting. The result is a tale of geishas, brothels, bullfights, love affairs, suffering and a fiery relationship with Gauguin. The work has a powerful secret message, if you know what to look for.
The Art Mysteries
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle
The Crime of the Century
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