Read more about the article The High Art of the Low Countries episode 2
The High Art of the Low Countries episode 2
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The High Art of the Low Countries episode 2

The High Art of the Low Countries episode 2: Andrew Graham-Dixon looks at how the seemingly peaceful countries of Holland and Belgium - famous for their tulips and windmills, mussels and chips - were in fact forged in a crucible of conflict and division. He examines how a period of economic boom driven for the first time by a burgeoning and secular middle class led to the Dutch golden age of the 17th century, creating not only the concept of…

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Read more about the article The High Art of the Low Countries episode 3
The High Art of the Low Countries episode 3
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  • Reading time:3 mins read

The High Art of the Low Countries episode 3

The High Art of the Low Countries episode 3: Andrew Graham-Dixon shows how the Low Countries rose again to become a cultural leader in the modern age, with artists like van Gogh, Mondrian and Magritte. Despite its small and almost insignificant size it produced important forward-thinking artists like van Gogh, Mondrian, Magritte and Delvaux, who changed the face of art forever.     Andrew's journey takes him to a remote beach in north west Holland that inspired Mondrian's transition to…

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Read more about the article The High Art of the Low Countries episode 1
The High Art of the Low Countries episode 1
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  • Reading time:4 mins read

The High Art of the Low Countries episode 1

The High Art of the Low Countries episode 1: Andrew Graham-Dixon shows how the art of Renaissance Flanders evolved from the craft of precious tapestries within the Duchy of Burgundy into a leading painting school in its own right. Starting his journey at the magnificent altarpiece of Ghent Cathedral created by the Van Eyck brothers, Andrew explains their groundbreaking innovation in oil painting and marvels at how the colours they obtained can still remain so vibrant today.     Andrew…

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Read more about the article Art That Made Us episode 8
Art That Made Us episode 8
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Art That Made Us episode 8

Art That Made Us episode 8: In the 1950s and 1960s, the generation of artists who recorded the shocks of global war gave way to an explosion of new voices from across the British Isles, reinventing the arts and creating a richer, more diverse culture. Young artists rebelled against the old establishment, kicking against the confines of class, sex, nation and race. Actress Lesley Sharp performs passages from Shelagh Delaney’s breakthrough play A Taste of Honey, which brought the ordinary…

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Read more about the article Art That Made Us episode 7
Art That Made Us episode 7
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Art That Made Us episode 7

Art That Made Us episode 7: Art goes to war during the first half of the 20th century: war with the old imperial order, war with convention and war with the very idea of what it means to be human. This is a story of artists grappling with the destruction, fighting back and transforming the culture of the Isles.       Actress Michelle Fairley performs WB Yeats’s poem Easter 1916, with its resonant phrase ‘a terrible beauty is born’…

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