Treasures of Ancient Greece

The Classical Revolution

Series 1 - Episode 2 The Classical Revolution



As with any major cultural shift, the dawning of classical art and architecture's golden age was more revolution than evolution. Within the space of a generation, for example, Greek sculpture took on a new dimension of realism and sensuality. What could have sparked such a rapid advancement in technique back in the fifth century BC?

Beneath a series of azure skies and wrapped in a snazzy trench coat, Alastair Sooke stitches together the story from visits to pivotal relics. Yet it's within the white walls of galleries and museums that he's in his element, as he offers subtle but vivid insights into the art itself.


Alastair Sooke focuses on the reasons behind the revolution that gave birth to classical Greek art. He travels in Sicily to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento before heading to the island of Mozia to see the Charioteer, which was unearthed in 1979. He also marvels at the athletic bodies of the Riace bronzes - warriors dragged from the seabed - as he asks how the Greeks became so good so quickly.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Alastair Sooke
Director David Vincent
Executive Producer Julian Birkett
Producer David Vincent