Painting The Holy Land with Lachlan Goudie

Confirmed for BBC One on 30 March at 9am to 10am

Ep 1/2

Friday 30 March



In a vibrant Easter two-part special to mark the holiest days of the Christian calendar, artist Lachlan Goudie packs his easel to undertake a highly personal trip of a lifetime.

From an early age, Lachlan was gripped by a vivid sense of the Holy Land gleaned from the images in his illustrated children’s Bible. As he grew up, those images were supplanted by others… the great masterpieces of Leonardo and Raphael. But above all, Lachlan absorbed the Bible story through the many powerful paintings of the crucifixion by his own father, the artist Alexander Goudie.

All these artists had one thing in common: they had never been to the Holy Land. It only existed for them, and for Lachlan himself, in the imagination. Lachlan has always wondered what it might be like to visit and paint the actual sites where the Bible stories took place. In this two part series, screening on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, Lachlan will explore the Holy Land for himself, sketching and painting the people and landscapes he sees there - looking afresh at its sacred sites and bustling streets, through the eyes of an artist.

Exploring and sketching the key sites of Christianity that marked both the birth of Jesus, and his death, Lachlan enters a world he has only ever experienced on a Christmas card or a gallery wall. How will the experience of working and travelling in the Holy Land make him think about his own relationship with the Bible story?

In Episode One, for Good Friday, Lachlan follows the last chapter of Jesus’s life, following His journey to Jerusalem, and then through the last days and hours before the crucifixion. It’s a pilgrimage that millions go on - and it’s a story of love and suffering that has inspired some of the world’s most remarkable masterpieces. But for Lachlan it’s a chance to see and react to the power of the place with fresh eyes - and create his own highly personal response through art.

Along the way - in a series of surprising encounters - Lachlan meets locals who have their own take on daily life in the Holy Land. This is a very special pilgrimage for Lachlan, rooted in the past, but brimming with life in the present day.

Part of the BBC's Easter religious programming