Rick Steves' Europe Season 12
Premiering this October, Season 12 of Rick Steves’ Europe features a dozen new episodes showcasing Europe’s great art and architecture in bite-size chunks. Join Rick as he explores the rise of Western Civilization as seen through Europe’s most beautiful and evocative art: climbing deep into prehistoric tombs, summiting Michelangelo’s magnificent dome, waltzing through glittering palaces, and pondering artistic genius from Praxiteles to Picasso.
Season 12 Episodes
Episode 1201: Art of Prehistoric Europe
Episode 1202: Art of Ancient Greece
Episode 1203: Ancient Roman Art
Episode 1204: Art of the Roman Empire
Episode 1205: Art of the Early Middle Ages
Episode 1206: Art of the High Middle Ages
Episode 1207: Art of the Florentine Renaissance
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Rick Steves' Europe Season 12 (13 words)
With 12 new episodes, Rick Steves’ Europe showcases Europe’s great art and architecture.
Rick Steves' Europe Season 12 (56 words)
Season 12 of Rick Steves’ Europe features 12 new episodes showcasing Europe’s great art and architecture. Join Rick as he explores the rise of Western Civilization as seen through Europe’s most beautiful and evocative art: climbing deep into prehistoric tombs, summiting Michelangelo’s magnificent dome, waltzing through glittering palaces, and pondering artistic genius from Praxiteles to Picasso.
Rick Steves' Europe Season 12 (208 words)
Season 12 of Rick Steves’ Europe features a dozen new episodes showcasing Europe’s great art and architecture. Join host Rick Steves as he crisscrosses Europe, exploring the rise of Western Civilization as seen through its most beautiful and evocative art: climbing deep into prehistoric tombs on remote Scottish isles, summiting Michelangelo’s magnificent dome at the Vatican, waltzing through glittering French palaces, and pondering artistic genius from Praxiteles to Picasso.
In these 12 episodes, we weave the tumultuous evolution of Europe through the millennia into a compelling story. Beginning in the Stone Age we’re awe-struck by mysterious tombs, mighty megaliths, and vivid cave paintings. Then in ancient Greece and Rome we marvel at sun-splashed temples, lifelike statues, supersized aqueducts, and glittering mosaics and frescos. Plunging through the Middle Ages, we ponder mighty castles and soaring Gothic cathedrals with their radiant stained glass. The Renaissance brings a cultural explosion of optimism and timeless art like Mona Lisa and David. As Europe steams into the modern age there’s a flowering of new styles, from stern Neoclassicism to unbridled Romanticism to the sun-dappled canvases of the Impressionists. And we finish with the ground-breaking and exciting art of Van Gogh, Picasso, and Dalí… art that brings us to the cutting-edge world of today.
1201 Art of Prehistoric Europe
As the Ice Age glaciers melted, prehistoric Europe bloomed with surprisingly sophisticated art. From Ireland to France, Scotland to the Greek Isles, we traverse that mystical world of mighty megaliths, torchlit cave paintings, magical goddesses, and wrinkled bog people. We stand in awe as a massive tomb is radiated by a dramatic beam of sunlight and listen to ritual horns that still play today.
1202 Art of Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece laid the foundations of Western art. Traveling from its sun-splashed isles to the rugged mainland to bustling Athens, we trace the rise of Greek culture. We marvel at the timeless Acropolis, perfect Parthenon, and Golden Age theaters. And we watch as art evolves from stiff statues to perfectly balanced Venuses to the exuberant Winged Victory, capturing the spirit of the age.
1203 Ancient Roman Art
We follow Rome’s rise through its awe-inspiring art, starting at Rome’s humble birthplace in the Forum. Soon Rome is graced with supersized monuments like the majestic domed Pantheon and the Colosseum, where gladiators battled to the death. We also get a glimpse of Rome’s more intimate side: the colorful mosaics, luxurious frescoes, and realistic portraits of the solid citizens who made Rome great.
1204 Art of the Roman Empire
With its vast empire, ancient Rome gave Europe its first common culture. From England to Turkey, we explore the greatest Roman cities, marveling at their over-the-top art, soaring aqueducts, and crowd-pleasing theaters. As Rome fell, saints replaced Caesars and Christianity filled the vacuum with art-filled churches — preserving the grandeur of imperial Rome and inspiring the Europe to come.
1205 Art of the Early Middle Ages
After Rome’s fall, Europe’s Christians kept culture alive with art rooted in their deep faith. We visit sturdy Romanesque churches filled with art that reinforced the ruling order. Meanwhile, Europe was invigorated from the fringes: Byzantines to the East, with their dazzling mosaics; Spanish Muslims with their lush palaces; and fierce Vikings of the North — all part of Europe’s rich cultural stew.
1206 Art of the High Middle Ages
As Europe passed A.D. 1000, its growing prosperity was reflected in soaring Gothic cathedrals graced with colorful altarpieces, lacy stonework, and radiant stained glass. We visit luxurious castles to see exquisite tapestries showing a new secular love of worldly pleasures and, end in Italy, where pioneering artists like Giotto were mastering realism and pointing the way to the future of art.
1207 Art of the Florentine Renaissance
After its medieval struggles, Europe rediscovered the art of the ancients, led by booming Florence. We revel in the bold spirit of the Cathedral’s lofty dome and Botticelli’s sweet Venus. Leonardo da Vinci gives us the iconic Last Supper and enigmatic Mona Lisa. And Michelangelo — sculptor of David, painter of the Sistine, and architect of St. Peter’s — takes the Florentine Renaissance to new heights.
1208 Art of the Renaissance Beyond Florence
From Italy, the Renaissance spread across Europe, revolutionizing art. We travel to Spain and Portugal where overseas plunder is transformed into lacy architecture and ethereal paintings by El Greco. In bustling Germany and Belgium, new technologies enable Durer’s mass-produced engravings, Van Eyck’s meticulous oil paintings, Brueghel’s peasants at play, and the futuristic visions of Bosch.
1209 Baroque Art
Forged in Europe’s religious struggles, Baroque art inspired the faithful and dazzled the masses. We start in Rome, with its awe-inspiring St. Peter’s, fleshy Bernini statues and bubbly fountains. In Belgium, we see the dramatic canvases of Rubens. And finally: the ultimate Baroque palace, Versailles, with its chandeliered Hall of Mirrors and vast gardens where nobles played as Revolution brewed.
1210 Art of the Neoclassical and Romantic Ages
Around 1800, Europe was in transition, reflected in two art styles. First, we visit Europe’s great cities with their stately Neoclassical buildings of columns and domes. Meanwhile, the Revolution has unleashed a call for freedom, both political and personal. We see dramatic Romantic canvases depicting extreme emotions and awesome Nature, and tour dreamy castles — virtual theme parks of Romanticism.
1211 Art of the Impressionists and Beyond
The late-1800s saw old notions of beauty challenged by revolutionary artists. We enjoy pioneering Impressionist works — Monet’s lilies, Renoir’s ladies, Degas’ snapshots, and Rodin’s statues — that capture the joie de vivre of the age. We trace the tempestuous travels of Van Gogh through his incomparable art. And we finish in Spain, with wild and crazy buildings that herald the dawn of a new century.
1212 Art of the 20th Century
Europe’s tumultuous 20th century spawned a kaleidoscope of cutting-edge art. From Spain to Hungary, Glasgow to Oslo, we seek out all that’s wild, colorful, surreal, and just plain fun. The fascinating work of Pablo Picasso leads us through the century’s major art styles. And in today’s gleaming cities, we see how a persistent artistic spirit connects us with both our past and an exciting future.
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Season 12 title image. Download image
Rick Steves at the Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy. Download image
Art of Prehistoric Europe: Stonehenge (c. 2,000 BC), near Amesbury, England. Download image
Art of Prehistoric Europe: Rick visits West Kennet Long Barrow near Avebury, England. Download image
Art of Ancient Greece: Jockey of Artemision (150 to 140 BC), at the National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece. Download image
Art of Ancient Greece: Rick Steves and the Caryatids of Erechtheion, at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. Download image
Ancient Roman Art: Augustus as Pontifex Maximus (AD 14), National Museum of Rome. Download image
Ancient Roman Art: Rick Steves outside of Rome's Colosseum (AD 80). Download image
Art of the Roman Empire: Library of Celsus (AD 100), at Ephesus, Turkey. Download image
Art of the Roman Empire: Rick at Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli, Italy. Download image
Art of the Early Middle Ages: St. Mark's Basilica (1063), Venice, Italy. Download image
Art of the Early Middle Ages: Rick at Amiens Cathedral, Amiens, France. Download image
Art of the High Middle Ages: Sainte-Chapelle (1242-1248), Upper Chapel, Paris, France. Download image
Art of the High Middle Ages: Rick in Sainte-Chapelle (1242-1248), Paris, France. Download image
Art of the Florentine Renaissance: Brunelleschi, Cathedral Dome (1420-1436), Florence, Italy. Download image
Art of the Florentine Renaissance: Rick Steves and Sandro Botticelli's Allegory of Spring (1482), Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy. Download image
Art of the Renaissance Beyond Florence: Jan van Eyck, Arnolfini Wedding (1434), London's National Gallery. Download image
Art of the Renaissance Beyond Florence: Rick at the Monastery of Jerónimos (1495), in Belém, Lisbon, Portugal. Download image
Baroque Art: Hall of Mirrors (1678-1684), Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France. Download image
Baroque Art: Rick Steves and the Great Gallery ceiling at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. Download image
Art of the Neoclassical and Romantic Ages: Théodore Géricault, The Raft of the Medusa (1819), Louvre Museum, Paris, France. Download image
Rick Steves takes a break from filming at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Download image
Art of the Impressionists and Beyond: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Dance at the Moulin de la Gallete (1876), Orsay Museum, Paris, France. Download image
Art of the Impressionists and Beyond: Rick with Monet in London's National Gallery. Download image
Art of the 20th Century: Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao (1997), Bilbao, Spain. Download image
Art of the 20th Century: Rick with Jeff Koons' Bouquet of Tulips (2019), at Paris' Petit Palais. Download image