The Genius Of British Art

7:00pm Sunday, October 31 on C4

Modern Art has made us who we are and it has certainly made Janet Street Porter who she is. Beginning in the stifling 1950s, Janet revisits her teenage years to show how modern art has been at the forefront of social and cultural changes, which define Britain today, from Patrick Heron through Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Peter Blake, Joe Tilson, Richard Hamilton, Gilbert and George, and the Sex Pistols, to Damien Hirst and the ‘Sensation’ generation of British artists.

7:00pm Sunday, October 24 on C4

It’s easy to dismiss English landscape art as nothing more than tea towel culture. That would be a big mistake, argues Sir Roy Strong. Far from being a succession of chocolate box clich�s, the genius of English landscape art is that it affords a sometimes shocking and subversive insight into the country’s deepest fears. Sir Roy argues that, from Constable to Hockney, landscape artists have reflected visions of England on the cusp of change. It is nothing less than this country’s greatest contribution to western art.

7:00pm Sunday, October 17 on C4

Writer Howard Jacobson celebrates the way British artists depict sex and desire, and argues that the most compelling expression is to be found where we might least expect it: in the art of the Victorians. We like to caricature the Victorians as hypocrites for whom the body is an embarrassment. In fact, thanks to artists like William Etty, who introduced the nude into British art in the 1820s, the Victorian era became a golden age for painting a wild and desperate sexuality. What distinguishes this art from what was happening in, for example, France, is its moral consciousness.

7:00pm Sunday, October 10 on C4

The history of British art is the story of Britain. For centuries, artists have reflected our times and shaped the way we see ourselves. This series presents six passionate polemics on how British art made us who we are today and how it continues to give us a vision of ourselves. In episode two Dr Gus Casely-Hayford shows how our sense of identity was changed forever by the most distinctively British artist this country has ever produced: William Hogarth.

7:00pm Sunday, October 3 on C4

The history of British art is the story of Britain. For centuries, artists have reflected our times and shaped the way we see ourselves. This landmark series presents six passionate polemics on how British art made us who we are today and how it continues to give us a vision of ourselves. In the opening programme, historian Dr David Starkey considers how royal portraiture from Henry VIII to Princess Diana has had an enduring influence on the iconic power of personality.

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