A Very British Renaissance

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Whose Renaissance?

Series 1 - Episode 3 Whose Renaissance?

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Review

Dr James Fox lays it on a bit thick, but he’s a virtuoso storyteller, conjuring up the mores of James I’s court and the men quietly rebelling against the King’s continental tastes. In this third and final instalment, he’ll have you marvelling anew at the realism of van Dyck’s portraits and Donne’s precocious poetry.

Less celebrated innovators also come in for lavish praise: a physician who conducted gruesome experiments in the dead of night; a Suffolk landowner credited with painting Britain’s first landscape and still life; and Oxford loner Robert Burton, who dedicated his life to the study of melancholia.

Summary

Dr James Fox explores how the tension between two cultures - one courtly, classical and European and the other homegrown, innovative and vital - contributed to England's descent into civil war in the mid-17th century. Concluding episode of the programme celebrating an age that saw Britain embrace a world of cutting-edge art, literature, architecture and science. Last in the series.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Dr James Fox
Director Nicola Stockley
Executive Producer Jonty Claypole
Producer Nicola Stockley
Series Producer Julian Birkett
Arts History