Civilisations

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Highlights from Simon Schama

Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University and a Contributing Editor of the Financial Times. In his five episodes, Simon takes us from Paleolithic cave paintings to the studio of contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer. Here are three stunning moments from his travels.

300 BCE

Simon Schama

Petra

One of the most spectacular civilisations in all of human history flourished at Petra in Jordan, where the Nabataeans carved elaborate structures out of the very mountains themselves.

1751

Simon Schama

Apollo and the Four Continents - Tiepolo

Father and son Giovanni Battista and Gian Domenico Tiepolo reinvent what it means to look at a painting and what a painting is. It’s one of the most stupendous demonstrations of the spectacular power of painting.

2017

Simon Schama

Heaven Complex - Cai Guo-Qiang

The Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang uses gunpowder to make art out of explosions. Specially for the programme, he creates three new works inspired by ideas of paradise.