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A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
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.
The Private Life of a Masterpiece
Can We Make Life
'It's alive!' Since Dr. Frankenstein spoke those famous words, we've been alternately enthralled and terrified by the idea of creating life in the lab. Now, a revolution in genetic engineering and thrilling innovations in synthetic biology are bringing that dream—or nightmare, as the case may be—closer to reality. New tools allow researchers to use cells to create their own DNA and edit it into existing genomes with more ease and less cost than ever before.
Along with renewed hopes for treating some genetic diseases, there's serious talk of using the newest technologies to bring long-extinct animals back from the dead – like the team hoping to resurrect the woolly mammoth. Science fiction is quickly becoming science fact. Another daring genetic experiment to bioengineer animals could prevent Lyme disease. But the power to make life comes with deep ethical questions. What are the potential rewards—and dangers—of tinkering with nature? This films explores the benefits and the burden of risk surrounding the controversial new technology.
Dragons of the Dry
About 340 million years ago a brand new family of animals was evolving in the primeval swamps. They were to go one step further than the amphibians who had emerged onto dry and before them. For they would eventually completely cut their ties with water. They were the ancestors of todays lizards. They evolved scaly impermeable skins and moved up into the forests. They diversified into a multitude of different shapes and sizes. They developed signalling systems to communicate with one another. And they squabbled as animals do. For food they hunted insects that were already well established on the land in great numbers. And here without returning to water they produced their families. They powered their bodies not only with food but with the heat that they drew directly from the sun.
As they diversified so they spread into the harshest of the lands habitats. The baking waterless deserts which eventually they would come to dominate. Discover jacky lizards that wave, wrestling beaded lizards and the the world's smallest chameleon, which is no bigger than his thumbnail, and the biggest lizard in Australia.
Life In Cold Blood
The Secret Life of Landfill: A Rubbish History
Their quest is to discover whether the items we throw away today have any value for tomorrow's world. In a unique science experiment, Dr George McGavin and Dr Zoe Laughlin chronicle the history of rubbish and explore how what we throw away tells us about the way we live our lives. With unprecedented access to one of the UK's largest landfill sites, the team of experts spend three days carrying out tests all over the site, revealing the secret world of rubbish. They also carry out three other 'archaeological' digs into historic landfills to chart the evolution of our throwaway society.
Is mining trash for something valuable really viable? McGavin concluded: 'The idea of landfill mining is a pretty compelling vision of the future.'
From steamy jungles to dry deserts, amphibians have taken their first footsteps onto land using their bizarre life histories to break their ties with the water and invade the earth.
This episode delves into the extraordinary and intimate lives of the soft skinned amphibians. This includes the marsupial frogs, a peculiar species where the father carries his young in pouches and then gives birth. It also features warring giant salamanders over a metre long and show-off newts that offer displays just like underwater birds of paradise.
Life In Cold Blood
Illuminations: the private lives of medieval kings
Nature Great Events
Art of Spain
The Human Body
How the Universe Works Season 6
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