Episode 7 | Baptism | Saint John the Baptist: From Birth to Beheading | National Gallery, London

Jenny, where better to begin this episode, which is thinking about baptism, than Salisbury Cathedral? Particularly Salisbury Cathedral, because it has this stupendous font that was installed recently in 2008. It’s the most stunning visual object. It’s extraordinary, because as you approach the font, the water is so still that it actually looks far more…

Raphael, Portrait of Pope Julius II

(music playing) Beth: And here we have Julius II, painted by Rafael. Julius II, the great patron of the high Renaissance, and it’s thanks to Julius that we have, oh gosh, so many things. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the Basilica of Saint Peter’s, Rafael’s frescoes in the Stanza. Steven: He was also a…

Episode 9 | The Baptist’s Head | Saint John the Baptist: From Birth to Beheading

So Ben, this episode will concentrate specifically on the Baptist’s head and this tradition of representing not the entire narrative of the martyrdom of John the Baptist. So in the earlier tradition, visual traditions, we often have the representation of the imprisonment, the banquet of Herod, the dance of Salome and then finally the beheading….

Veronese, the Dream of Saint Helena

(upbeat piano music) Dr. Zucker: Depicting the world before us is hard enough, but how does an artist depict a dream. Dr. Harris: Not just a dream, but a figure having a dream. We’re looking at Vernoses, The Dream of Saint Helena. Dr. Zucker: This is a stunning image and although we can’t credit Veronese…

David, the Virgin and Child with Saints and Donor

(piano music playing) Beth: Look at that gold stitching on the red fabric and the ermine lining of the clothing worn by Saint Catherine. Steven: And on Saint Barbara, look at the jewels in her headdress. They’re just spectacular. Beth: Look at the perfection of the white lilies in the garden between Mary and Saint…