Following the recent run of Antigone at the Barbican and the British Museum’s new exhibition – Defining Beauty: the Body in Ancient Greek Art the BBC have chosen to air a series of programmes looking at the cultural and artistic impact of Ancient Greece this spring. Naming the season “The Age of Heroes: Ancient Greece Uncovered” BBC Four will broadcast programmes set to cover art and literary history, as well as screening an adaptation of the classic tragedy Antigone.
Treasures of Ancient Greece, starts Wednesday 8th April, 9pm, BBC Four
In this series art critic and broadcaster Alastair Sooke explores the riches and unique legacy of Greek art.
Treasures of Ancient Greece begins with an exploration of the origins of Greek art. From the BBC:
Alastair discovers the beginnings of a defining spirit in Greek art, embracing mythology, a passion for symmetry, and an obsession with the human body.
Secret Knowledge: The Body Beautiful – Ancient Greeks, Good Looks and Glamour, Wednesday 8th April, 10pm, BBC Four
From the BBC:
Writer and classicist Natalie Haynes leads us on a journey into ancient beauty and modern glamour, examining how our current obsession with the body beautiful goes back thousands of years to an era of stunning artistic achievement. With unique access to the British Museum’s major exhibition which opens on March 26th, Haynes explores the Greek preoccupation with the human form ranging from objects of abstract simplicity to breathtaking realism.
BBC Four will be screening a performance of the classic tragedy filmed during the recent run at The Barbican. This new translation by poet and classicist Anne Carson stars Juliette Binoche in the title role.
Margaret Mountford goes in search of the truth behind the legend of Sappho. Arguably the first authentic woman’s voice in western history, the writer’s erotic works gave the words ‘sapphic’ and ‘lesbian’, after the island of Lesbos the place of her birth.
The recent discovery of a lost papyrus provided the world with two new pieces by the poet, and Mountford (who holds a degree in Papyrology) will embark upon a journey to offer a glimpse of the woman behind the poetry.