Presenter Waldemar Januszczak asks why is Rembrandt's painting, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp, so great. In the 17th century, the Dutch developed a passion for public dismemberment. Dissections became a public event that would last from three to five days. Born in 1609 and moving to Amsterdam in 1631, Dr Tulp was an ambitious man who commissioned the newly arrived Rembrandt to paint this picture of one of his anatomy lessons mounted in 1632 by the Surgeons' Guild. The painting made Rembrandt's reputation and he went on to paint some of Amsterdam's finest people.
There is great controversy about the meaning and symbolism of Giorgione's 'The Tempest' and presenter Waldemar Januszczak believes he's cracked the artist's code. Giorgione is one of art history's most mysterious painters and his 'The Tempest' is one of the world's most mysterious paintings.
After the success of IM Pei's glass pyramid at the Louvre in 1989, a new architectural project was born to house a new wing devoted to Islamic artworks. This is the story of the genesis of the new building and its 'flying carpet' roof, in the Cour Visconti.
Well-known art critic Waldemar Januszczak explores the myths behind and origins of some of the world's most famous and beautiful paintings. Who is the mysterious "Mona Lisa", and how did she come to feature in the most famous painting in the world? What is the disturbing moral of Rembrandt's "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp"? And how does Botticelli's representation of the goddess of love in "The Birth of Venus" reflect the bloody drama of high Renaissance Florence?