The Best Art Documentaries for College Research


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College Research

Before and during the Middle age, art focused on sculpture, painting, and architecture. Medieval art in Europe was created for different reasons. It could be used for spiritual, narrative, documentary, symbolic, or decorative reasons. In the 18th and 19th centuries, art in Europe and the U.S. took a different form. It was widely influenced by external factors, especially massive migrations. Art documentaries show how artists do their work. They also help audiences understand how art has developed over time. Viewers discover new strategies for creating art that sparks new ideas. Here are the best art documentaries for college research.

Achievements and rewards

Achievements and Rewards is a documentary about the history of Europe. Presented by Christopher Clark, the story is broken into several episodes. The narrator goes deeper into the dark sides of the history of Europe. Although the region has had many transitions, its culture has played a major role.

Each role has made it radiate its influence across the world. Christopher narrates that Europe is the continent that sets standards for art and literature. He shows countless masterpieces of art created by renowned people who lived in the past. He also covers great art discoveries in the region that influenced the inventions of machines like the steam engine.

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The Renaissance Unchained

From the 15th to 16th centuries, Europe was thriving in new forms of art. They began to create art with non-religious themes. The discovery of gunpowder and printing helped advance art in this period. Waldemar Januszczak refutes the belief Renaissance originated in Italy. He goes deeper and exposes unforeseen realities about Renaissance art.

Instead, he claims its roots are found further north in Germany and the surrounding regions. As a student of art, you can watch this documentary and agree or refute the ideas. They can develop concrete arguments for essays from the ideas. Renaissance might have started elsewhere but taken root in Italy and Spain.

Nature and Us: A History Through Art

Art has influenced the growth of cultures, cities, and trade throughout history. Each content in the world has had its good share of art. Each continent has helped shape the world into what it is today through art. In the earliest years, human beings developed art by observing nature. They drew or sculptured things based on what they saw. This documentary by BBC takes the viewer through the complicated interactions of humans with nature.

James Fox looks at how nature has influenced human beings to develop art. This documentary can be helpful to a student who wants to write a research paper about nature’s influence on art. The student can see the earliest art and its development across the world. The narrator covers the regions of Europe, Asia, America, and many other regions.

The Rich Wild West of American Art

The Rich Wild West of American Art is narrated by Waldemar Januszczak. He travels to America’s Wild West to study how art influenced the region. Some of the masterpieces he covered include the sublime art found at the Hudson River School. He then covers rock art done by Native Americans. They prepared the ground for non-nature painting in the West.

The documentary is useful to the student who wants to understand art and technology. American art played a role in technological advancements. It often contained religious symbols and sentiments. They are important for brainstorming ideas when writing essays. A student may want to read essay examples first before they start writing.


Civilizations is a documentary about the roles of art in developing humanity. Liev Schreiber narrates how creative imagination helps shape human beings. Liev explores a wide range of topics. He starts with the earliest artifacts that explain human culture. He looks at art that shows what happens when evolving civilizations meet.

He also presents the topic of the Renaissance from a global perspective. The documentary surveys the history of art from yesteryears to date from a global perspective. He introduces to audiences the role of beauty, illumination, and ingenuity in different cultures. Liev presents 17th-century paintings from England and structural art from Holland.

He covers American art back to 1200 BCE and many more. The documentary is useful to a student who wants to research art from a broader angle. From the inspiration, they can narrow down and cover specific regions. They can see areas such as Spain, Italy, England, and Mexico.

Great Artists with Tim Marlow

Tim Marlow is a renowned historian based in the U.S. He set out on a journey to collect and document stories about renowned artists of the past. He visited more than 50 locations. They included old-time church buildings, museums, and palaces. His documentary covers the history of art in the West.

Instead of covering a generalized story, he covers the artists one by one and their work. The sequence covers the stories of Giotto, Raphael, Michelangelo, and many more. Most of his stories cover art in Europe and America. He covers the days of the Renaissance to the Middle age and further.

It is a great documentary for research on the development of art in the West. A Student will find it useful when gathering information for research papers or essays. It might help if the student read essay examples to help him understand the paper design.


Art plays a major role in the development of societies, culture, and technology. Many people have pieced the information together and created art documentaries. The films can be useful to students engaging in research. The learners can gather ideas from the topic and write amazing essays or research papers.

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