The Renaissance Unchained

Hell, Snakes & Giants

Series 1 - Episode 4 Hell, Snakes & Giants



Jacopo Pontormo, Bernard Palissy, Giulio Romano – if you’re an art buff you may be familiar with these late-Renaissance figures, but they’re hardly household names. Waldemar Januszczak gleefully ropes them in to his final programme to support his case that the Renaissance was full of “idiosyncrasy and darkness” – that it was, in places, quite potty.

And it doesn’t get much pottier than Hieronymus Bosch, whose gloriously odd The Garden of Earthly Delights also gets a thorough – and enjoyable – going-over from Januszczak. And if that all sounds a bit left field, don’t worry: he does the Mona Lisa, too.


Waldemar Januszczak examines the surprising climax of the Renaissance, a period full of war, confusion and darkness, which was captured perfectly in the art of Leonardo, Bosch, Arcimboldo, Palissy, the Italian mannerists and El Greco. Last in the series.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Waldemar Januszczak
Director Waldemar Januszczak
Executive Producer Peter Grimsdale
Producer Lidia Ciszewska