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Civilizations

Japan's 18th Century Commercial Art Revitalizes Color

Civilizations

Japan's 18th Century Commercial Art Revitalizes Color

1m 53s

Ukiyo-e began with only a few colors, but combined them in increasingly sophisticated ways to create vivid depictions of a rapidly growing urban life. Wildly popular in all its forms, it demonstrated that every day transitory objects could be considered art.

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0m 30s

Episode 5 Preview | Renaissances

Travel east and west to explore the connections and rivalries between Renaissance Italy and the Islamic empires that experienced their own cultural flowering in the 15th and 16th centuries. Both spheres were open to influences flowing both ways.

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2m 26s

Building the Suleymaniye Mosque

Mimar Sinar became the greatest military engineer of his day, but he always felt himself destined for something greater than being the builder of bridges and fortresses.

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4m 8s

Montezuma and Cortes

As the Spanish met the Aztecs in Central America, the riches intended to buy off the Spanish only intensified their lust for gold and conquest.

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0m 30s

Episode 4 Preview | Encounters

See how advances in seafaring and a thirst for trade and exploration sent human beings around the planet. Distant and disparate cultures met for the first time, and art became the great interface by which civilizations understood each other.

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1m 40s

The Lion Man

One of the oldest objects of an imaginary being ever discovered, it was carved over hundreds of painstaking hours.

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1m 42s

The Day of the Dead

The Conquistadors attempted to eradicate all traces of indigenous Mexican culture and religion. But some glimmers of its past artistic and creative impulses remained.

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4m 5s

New Forms of Spirituality

Today, especially in the West, art has found new ways to engage with our spiritual impulses, even when the audience is often secular.

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2m 58s

The Sacred Mountain

One of the most spectacular places where the symbolism of the sacred mountain has been turned into a work of art is found deep in the jungle interior of Cambodia.

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0m 30s

Episode 3 Preview | God and Art

Trace the relationship between religion and art, which has inspired some of the most ingenious, affecting, majestic and breathtaking works of art ever made. Yet beneath great works of religious art often lie conflict, intrigue and divine mysteries.

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0m 38s

Recording Social Norms

Though it may have been an unintended consequence, Athenian vase painters recorded and then re-enforced ideas of what wives were meant to do.

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0m 30s

Episode 2 Preview | How Do We Look?

Explore the many functions of the human image in art. Portraits, paintings and sculptures, both life-size and colossal, perform a role—assuaging loss, expressing strength, inspiring fear—and were instrumental in depicting the human body today.

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1m 49s

The Cognitive Revolution

The cognitive revolution stirred early humanity from its creative slumber, and the images it produced continue to humble even our greatest modern artists, including Pablo Picasso.

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