Arts & Literature

The Genius of Carl Faberge

Watch The Genius of Carl Faberge on BBC Select

They were the world’s first Easter eggs – made for the Russian Tsars as Easter gifts. But they’re more expensive than any you’ve received.

Cultural commentator Stephen Smith goes on a hunt – from the British Royal family’s exquisite collection to the Russian billionaire who has spent $100 million on them – and uncovers the extraordinary life of the virtuoso jeweller who designed them.

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.

Simon Schama's Shakespeare and Us

Watch Simon Schama's Shakespeare and Us on BBC Select

How much is the personality of England intertwined with the visions of Shakespeare? Acclaimed historian Simon Schama tries to get beneath the skin of the playwright and understand why his stories are so relevant today. Shakespeare knew the importance of not just reflecting the lives of the kings and queens who peppered his plays, but ordinary people too – including thieves, clowns and prostitutes.

Art of Scandinavia

Stream the Art of Scandinavia on BBC Select

It’s a land without light for months on end, with a reputation for gloom and bleak landscapes that inspired 20th-century existentialism. But, in this BBC Scandinavian art documentary, art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon discovers that while it’s a fitting home for Munch’s The Scream, Scandinavia is also a land of eroticism, fairytales, futuristic thinking and idealism that’s given us bicycle-riding monarchs, Lego and modernist social design.

Art of China

Watch Art of China on BBC Select

As China’s economic and political influence grows, Chinese art receives greater exposure around the world. But many of its treasures have never been seen in the West. This three-part BBC art history documentary sees historian Andrew Graham-Dixon takes us on an exhilarating odyssey through 3,000 years of art from China. The Terracotta Army to its modern cultural rebirth, it’s a rare insight into the art of China, the history of China as well as modern China.