The Art of the Nation Episode 2 of 3

Most of the nation's greatest works of art are in our museums and galleries, but there are also thousands of significant works - some valuable, some not - in homes across the country.

BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz discovers extraordinary stories behind the art-works on our domestic walls, and the tales they tell about our nation - an unwritten biography charting up and downs, highs and lows.

In this edition, Will focuses on art and war. There's the tale of the shipwrecked sailor, who turned to painting. Trude remembers her father, who perished in Auschwitz, through the only item left from her former home in Czechoslovakia - a large 19th century oil painting, an allegory of Jewish oppression.

Or there is the small stone with tiny carvings on it, owned by Nazrin who spent eight years in an Iranian jail. The stone was carved by a fellow inmate, who gave it to her as a token of affection, even though she could have been put to death for doing so. And there are paintings of Charles II and Lord Montagu, once arch enemies who ended up as allies, and an image of World War One battle-field, painted on the day that war ended. All are kept in domestic settings, and all have a story to tell.

Producer Neil George.

Release date:

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Thu 13 Nov 2014 23:30

Related topics

Your Paintings

Your paintings

Discover the artwork you own in our public galleries. Image: Southampton City Art Gallery