In each episode historian Simon Schama treats, in his own erudite, unconventional and somewhat socially engaged style, a work of art from a great master. He concentrates not just on the art... See full summary »
Sir Kenneth Clarke guides us through the ages exploring the glorious rise of civilisation in western man. Beginning with the bleakness of the dark ages to the present day, we consider ... See full summary »
I found the series compelling, informative and moving. The authors and presenter focus on the present with its political and material preoccupations by using a powerful lens from the past. Events as troubling as 9-11 or as profound as our contemplation of death are shown under a new light that leaves one wanting more. There is an unflinching quality to the series - magnified by the seemingly upper class presence of Cambridge professor Dr. Nigel Spivey - that takes for granted the viewer's intelligence, curiosity and willingness to challenge their preconceptions. Best of all, perhaps, the series dares to state not only the historic importance of art in human development, but arts vital role in every aspect of daily life. The series is an example of educational programming of the highest order, dealing with complex subjects in a manner that is both accessible and demanding, inciting the viewer to investigate a wide range of subjects. At that same time, the series never loses sight of its central concern - the joys and sorrows of being human as traced through art in its myriad forms.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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