Survey the history of art, from antiquity to the present, on a global scale. Discover the role art and creative imagination have played in forging humanity, and see works of beauty, ingenuity, and illumination across cultures.
Examine the formative role of art and the creative imagination in the forging of humanity itself. Images and artifacts found in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and South America testify to the urge to develop civilizations.
Explore the many functions of the human image in art. Portraits, paintings and sculptures, life-size and colossal, perform a role - assuaging loss, expressing strength, inspiring fear - and were instrumental in depicting the body today.
Trace the relationship between religion and art, which has inspired some of the most ingenious, affecting, and breathtaking works of art ever made. Yet beneath great works of religious art often lie conflict, intrigue and divine mysteries.
See how seafaring advances and a thirst for trade and exploration sent human beings around the planet. Distant and disparate cultures met for the first time, and art became the great interface by which civilizations understood each other.
Explore the connections and rivalries between Renaissance Italy and the Islamic empires that experienced their own cultural flowering in the 15th and 16th centuries. Both spheres were open to influences flowing both ways.
Explore one of humanity’s deepest artistic urges: the depiction of nature. But landscape painting is seldom a straightforward portrayal of observed nature; it's a projection of dreams, idylls, and refuges - the elusive paradise on earth.
Examine the rise and fall of “progress” as an ideology, and see how the “civilizing” project that arose from Enlightenment ideas was fraught with contradictions that troubled European artists in different ways.
Explore the fate of art in the machine and profit-driven world: should art create a realm separate from the modern world, or should it plunge headlong into the chaos while transforming the way we see and live in it?
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One of the best documentaries. This series is good for lovers of art history, but also accessible to those just starting out. I cannot describe how amazing this show is as it brings you through history in the lens of art. A must see to history lovers everywhere.
Great achievements have abounded throughout the globe throughout time. There's no doubt about that.
But Episode 5, with its cloying title "Renaissances," requires the viewer to stand on his or her head, squint, and smoke grass to accept the premise that cultural achievements in India and the Islamic world at the time of The Renaissance—i.e., THE Renaissance—were on a par of the achievements of the actual Renaissance. The Indian miniatures presented were colorful and attractive, but by no means comparable in craft, insight, or artistry to the innumerable masterpieces created by Renaissance painters and sculptors. Similar false equivalencies are presented elsewhere in the episode, and Truth turns her head.
There was plenty here to like, until the producers obviously felt compelled to kneel to woke ideology. All art is grand, they seem to say, except for western art and perspective, which corrupts all things. Yawn. Here we go again.
I am currently on my 4th viewing of this incredible series. If you have any interest in world art or the history and movement of civilization (as seen through the eyes of artists), this series is an absolute gem. I catch new details in each viewing and the flow and content of this series is just about the best that I have encountered. Some of the stories in this series are absolutely heart-wrenching and speak volumes to issues that we are witnessing today, while other sections provide some jaw-dropping visuals that will bring you back time and again.