Arts & Literature

The Art of Gothic

Watch The Art of Gothic on BBC Select

This BBC Select art history documentary spends some time down in the dungeon as it delves into the world of the Gothic.

Acclaimed art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon explores how a group of 19th-century architects and artists spurned the modern age and turned to Britain’s medieval past to create iconic works and buildings with a distinctly creepy edge.

But what attracted them to the dark side?

Gauguin: The Full Story

Stream Gauguin: The Full Story on BBC Select

In 1903, a syphilitic and alcoholic Frenchman called Paul Gauguin died on a remote Pacific island. At that point no-one realized the incredible impact he was to have on modern art.

In this remarkable BBC art documentary, critic Waldemar Januszczak tells the story of Gauguin’s life and examines the accusations of sexual misconduct, family neglect and racism that are frequently made against him.

The Body Beautiful: Ancient Greeks, Good Looks and Glamour

Stream The Body Beautiful: Ancient Greeks, Good Looks and Glamour on BBC Select

Why were the Ancient Greeks so obsessed with nudes and immortalizing the body?

Classicist Natalie Haynes leads us on a journey into ancient beauty and modern glamor in this illuminating BBC history documentary. She examines how our current obsession with looking good goes back thousands of years to the time of Troy.

Can these figures from the past teach us anything about modern bodily obsessions?


Stream Confucius on BBC Select

Over 2,500 years ago, one man devised a way of thinking that still shapes the most powerful and populous nation on earth.

He was Confucius, one of history’s most influential men. But who was he and why do billions of people still follow his teachings?

This stunning documentary explores the life and times of Confucius and demystifies his ideas. We all want to understand China and through Confucius we can.

Van Gogh: Painted with Words

Watch Van Gogh: Painted with Words on BBC Select

Van Gogh Painted with Words is a powerful, award-winning drama documentary featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as artist Vincent Van Gogh.

Based on years of painstaking research, with every single word of dialogue sourced from his original writings, this is the story of Vincent van Gogh in his own words.

Presented by Alan Yentob and with a powerful performance from the Sherlock and Doctor Strange actor, Van Gogh: Painted with Words is a Vincent Van Gogh documentary like no other and paints a portrait of a sophisticated, civilized yet tormented man.