The Genius of British Art

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Arts Documentary hosted by David Starkey, published by Channel 4 in 2010 - English narration

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Image: The-Genius-of-British-Art-Cover.jpg

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The Genius of British Art The history of British art is the story of Britain. For centuries, artists have reflected our times and shaped the way we see ourselves. This series presents six passionate polemics on how British art makes us who we are today and gives us a vision of ourselves. David Starkey considers how royal portraiture has had an enduring influence on the iconic power of personality. Dr Augustus Casely-Hayford explores William Hogarth's revolutionary pioneering of art for the people. Howard Jacobson breaks through the frost of Victorian prudery in search of an eroticism all the more potent for its moral ambiguity. Sir Roy Strong shows how the English invented a landscape art. Janet Street Porter revisits her own youth to show how modern art since the 1950s has been at the forefront of the social and cultural changes that define our world today. And Jon Snow presents a timely reminder of how British artists have expressed and defined our response to the horror of war.

[edit] Power and Personality

Historian Dr David Starkey examines how royal portraiture from Henry VIII to Princess Diana has had an enduring influence on the iconic power of personality. Henry was enamoured with the imperial power reflected by the art of Rome. His break with the Catholic Church prompted him to embrace the supreme artist of the Reformation, Hans Holbein, and form a partnership whose influence resonates to this day.

[edit] Art for the People

Dr Gus Casely-Hayford shows how our sense of identity was changed forever by the most distinctively British artist this country has ever produced: William Hogarth. Until the 18th century, the only vision of Britishness that was available in our art was for and about the toffs streets. They wanted a more elegant, chaste vision of British identity. Hogarth wanted art that depicted Britain in all its ugly, rude reality.

[edit] Flesh

Writer Howard Jacobson celebrates the way British artists depict sex and desire, and argues that the most compelling expression is to be found where we might least expect it: in the art of the Victorians. We like to caricature the Victorians as hypocrites for whom the body is nothing but an embarrassment. In fact, thanks to artists like William Etty, who introduced the nude into British art in the 1820s, the Victorian era became a golden age for painting a wild and desperate sexuality.

[edit] Visions of England

At a time when Britain's contemporary art world has been dominated by the 'Sensation' generation of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, it's easy to dismiss English landscape art as nothing more than tea towel culture. That would be a big mistake, argues Sir Roy Strong. Far from being a succession of chocolate box cliches, the genius of English landscape art is that it affords a sometimes shocking and subversive insight into the country's deepest fears.

[edit] Modern Times

Modern Art has made us who we are and it has certainly made Janet Street Porter who she is. Beginning in the stifling 1950s, Janet revisits her teenage years to show how modern art has been at the forefront of social and cultural changes, which define Britain today, from Patrick Heron through Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Peter Blake, Joe Tilson, Richard Hamilton, Gilbert and George, and the Sex Pistols, to Damien Hirst and the 'Sensation' generation of British artists. Janet speaks to Hirst, Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry about how art has seeped into the very heart of British culture.

[edit] The Art of War

Former war reporter Jon Snow presents a timely reminder of how British artists have expressed and defined our response to the horror of war and, in the process, have triggered a debate about the role of art in British life. As the grandson of a First World War general, it's a story with a personal resonance for Jon. A hundred years ago, artists were the first to challenge the view that war was all about victory and glory. Jon, a keen amateur artist himself, traces this legacy from the artists of the First World War - Richard Nevinson, Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer - right up to the work of contemporary artists such as John Keane, Jeremy Deller and Steve McQueen.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: XviD ISO MPEG-4
  • Video Bitrate: 1489 kbps
  • Video Resolution: 704 x 400
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1.760 (16:9)
  • Frames Per Second: 25FPS
  • Audio Codec: 0x0055 MPEG-1 Layer 3
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
  • Audio Streams: 2
  • Audio Languages: English
  • RunTime Per Part: 49.Mins
  • Number Of Parts: 6
  • Part Size: 560 MB
  • Encoded by: artistharry
  • Source: DVB-rip

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