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Published: 20 February 2016

By Andy Ross

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The Renaissance Unchained

Van Eyck - Arnolfini Portrait.jpg
(By Jan van Eyck (circa 1390–1441) - Web site of National Gallery, London, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11343084)

A new art series has just begun on the BBC and it is absolutely fascinating. 

The first programme was this week. Waldemar Januszczak presents the idea that the Renaissance did not begin in Italy but rather had its origins in the North of Europe. Along the way we discover incredible paintings with equally incredible textile connections and credentials. Textiles, in those days as now, were hugely important symbols of wealth and so were often captured in portraits and paintings. Have a look online for the "Arnolfini Portrait" (also pictured left) to see what Mr Janusczak is talking about. 

The series is on iPlayer but, unfortunately, only for those of us in the UK. You may be able to find it in other places too and if you can, it is well worth a watch. Made me come over all Renaissance-like!