Fine Art

The Art Of Japanese Life

Image of the red circle of Japan with the cityscape within, as well as a bonzai tree

In recent times, Japan has been at the forefront of technology and has developed into a global powerhouse. But for centuries it lived in deliberate isolation with little known about its culture or people. Art historian Dr James Fox delves into the art of Japan, revealing its mysterious origins and exploring the links between culture, the countryside, urban landscapes and religion.

The vital link between Japanese culture and the natural world is investigated. Japanese culture and the natural environment have always been intrinsically linked. Dr James Fox journeys through Japan’s mountainous forests, glorious Zen gardens and encounters centuries – old bonsai to explore these connections. Traveling around the country’s stunning geography, he examines how two great religions, Shinto and Buddhism, helped shape a creative response to nature.

How the artistic life of three Japanese cities shaped the country’s cultural attitudes. The artistic life of three great Japanese cities shaped the country’s attitudes and helped forge the very idea of Japan itself. Visiting Kyoto, Edo and Tokyo, Dr James Fox reveals how the flowering of classical culture produced many great treasures of Japanese art. These include everything from The Tale of Genji, considered the first novel ever, to the world-famous animation house
Studio Ghibli.

How the clean minimalism and uncluttered mindset of the Japanese home developed. The minimalism of the Japanese home has been exported around the world, from modernist architecture to lifestyle stores like Muji. But its origins evolved from a system of spiritual and philosophical values, dating back centuries. Dr James Fox explores the art of the Japanese home, visiting one of Japan’s last surviving traditional wooden villages and learning the importance of calligraphy.

Antiques Roadshow

Antiques Roadshow

BBC Select has a number of seasons of the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow to stream in the US and Canada.

Season 37 travels the length of Great Britain inspecting the treasures of the general public, attempting to unearth some gems while uncovering the occasional fake. This series was marked by a very special visit to Balmoral Castle paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II as she became Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

From precious heirlooms in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery Museum, a secret house with compartments in Walmer Castle, and hidden objects in Trentham Gardens, Antiques Roadshow Season 38 is full of incredible treasures discovered across Britain.

Nature And Us: A History Through Art

In this groundbreaking arts documentary, BBC Select explores the often complex relationship that human beings have with the natural world. Taking a unique approach, Dr James Fox uses art as evidence of our developing attitudes towards nature across the globe and throughout history, from prehistory to the present.

Can culture help to explain our evolving relationship with nature?

The High Art of the Low Countries

Watch The High Art of the Low Countries on BBC Select

They say good things come in small packages, but this is ridiculous. How did a region as geographically insignificant as the Low Countries – what’s now the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg – overhaul the art world: inventing oil painting and master-painters Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Mondrian and Magritte?

Art expert Andrew Graham-Dixon investigates how this tiny region changed art forever in this art history documentary.

The Art of Spain

Watch The Art of Spain on BBC Select

Italy and northern Europe’s art legacies are legendary. But what about Spain?

In this absorbing and original three-part Spanish art documentary series, critic and historian Andrew Graham-Dixon goes on the road to reveal the fabulous art treasures of this country.

He explores some of Europe’s most important artists, from Renaissance to Modernist – including Goya, Picasso, Dalí, El Greco and Velázquez.