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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

Jacques-Louis David

   2006    Art
Painting became an important means of communication for David since his face was slashed during a sword fight and his speech became impeded by a benign tumour that developed from the wound, leading him to stammer. He was interested in painting in a new classical style that departed from the frivolity of the Rococo period and reflected the moral and austere climate before the French Revolution. David became closely aligned with the republican government and his work was increasingly used as propaganda with the Death of Marat proving his most controversial work.
Series: Power of Art

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.

God in the Dock

   2011    Culture
Diarmaid MacCulloch's own life story makes him a symbol of a distinctive feature about Western Christianity - scepticism, a tendency to doubt which has transformed both Western culture and Christianity. In the final programme in the series, he asks where that change came from. He challenges the simplistic notion that faith in Christianity has steadily ebbed away before the relentless advance of science, reason and progress, and shows instead how the tide of faith perversely flows back in. Despite the attacks of Newton, Voltaire, the French Revolutionaries and Darwin, Christianity has shown a remarkable resilience. The greatest damage to Christianity was actually inflicted to its moral credibility by the two great wars of the 20th century and by its entanglement with Fascism and Nazism. And yet it is during crisis that the Church has rediscovered deep and enduring truths about itself, which may even be a clue to its future.
Series: A History of Christianity

Long Way Up
Long Way Up

   2020    Culture
Secrets of the Dead
Secrets of the Dead

   2017    History
Space Deepest Secrets
Space Deepest Secrets

   2020    Science
The Story of the Jews
The Story of the Jews

   2013    History
Cosmos: Possible Worlds
Cosmos: Possible Worlds

   2020    Science
The Truth About
The Truth About

   2018    Medicine
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
The Crusades
The Crusades

   2012    History