The Art of Spain

We know that Italy and Northern Europe are renowned for their art, but what about Spain? Andrew Graham-Dixon travels from the south to the north to learn more about the history ofart in Spain, while experiencing Spanish culture, with all of its drama and exuberance.

Browse This Program

  • The Mystical North 3 of 3
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    February 5, 2009

    Andrew Graham-Dixon characterizes northern Spain as harbouring the darkest recesses of the Spanish imagination, from Goya's Black Paintings, through the sensual images of Dali, to the anguish of Picasso's Guernica. Andrew claims architecture is again leading Spanish art, and he shows us Gaudi's cathedral in Barcelona, unfinished in his lifetime because ideas about religion were changing, Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Barcelona, and a winery in Rioja by Santiago Calatrava.

  • The Dark Heart 2 of 3
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    January 29, 2009

    Andrew Graham-Dixon takes us to Castile, where inflexible Catholicism was the heart of 16th-century Spanish art. Philip II had strict rules for artists. Domenikos Theotopoulos - El Greco - failed to comply. In Salamanca, the oldest university in Spain was targeted by the Inquisition because of its spirit of inquiry. Philip IV made Madrid a glittering capital despite the decline of his empire. His court painter, Diego Velazquez, depicted real life rather than religious subjects.

  • The Moorish South 1 of 3
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    January 22, 2009

    The culture of Moorish Spain stood in contrast to the Dark Ages in the rest of Europe. The Moors turned desert into lush agricultural lands, enabling a population boom, exotic cuisine, fine wines, and the leisure to indulge in learning and intellectual pursuits. Andrew Graham-Dixon shows us what remains of 8th and 9th century Spanish Islam, and how it influenced later Christian art and architecture despite the effort to destroy the Moorish past.