The High Art of the Low Countries

Dream of Plenty

Series 1 - Episode 1 Dream of Plenty

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Review

Andrew Graham-Dixon has ditched the Lamborghini in which he spun through Italy with Giorgio Locatelli for a more low-key form of transport as he returns to what he does best: the art historian bringing new life to old masters.

In this colourful three-part series he’s exploring why the flat, watery lands that now make up Holland and Belgium became such a powerhouse of art, politics and learning, or as he puts it, an Atlantis in reverse – a land that rose from beneath the water.

So we see him cycling through tulip fields and swooning over illuminated manuscripts, tapestries and the astonishing early oil paintings of Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden. It’s a feast for the eyes.

Summary

Andrew Graham-Dixon tours the Low Countries, exploring how history has influenced the area's art, architecture and culture. In the first edition, he details how the art of Renaissance Flanders evolved from the crafting of precious tapestries, and begins his journey at the altarpiece of Ghent Cathedral, created by the Van Eyck brothers, explaining their groundbreaking innovation in oil painting and marvels at how the colours are still vibrant today. Plus, he describes how during the era people believed they were preoccupied with the end of the world.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon
Director Ian Leese
Executive Producer Basil Comely
Producer Ian Leese
Series Producer Silvia Sacco
Documentary