World News TV

Art of Spain

Critic and art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon travels from southern to northern Spain to tell the story of some of Europe's most exciting and vital art.

He journeys to the country's scorched centre to explore Spanish art of the 16th and 17th centuries. From the mystical world of El Greco to the tender genius of Velazquez, this was a moment so extraordinary it became known as the Golden Age. But beneath the glittering surface was a dark and savage heart.

Travelling from the architectural jewel of Toledo to majestic Madrid, Graham-Dixon traces the rise and fall of the Spanish Empire, the brutal conquest of the New World and the religious madness of the Inquisition, to discover how a history so violent could produce some of the most beautiful art ever seen.

The first episode of this three part series will be shown on Saturday 19th January at 0310 GMT and 2210 GMT and Sunday 20th January at 1010 GMT and 1710 GMT.