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Viking Art: A Culture Show Special

Andrew Graham-Dixon explores Viking art, which is defined by intricate artistic styles - distinctly Scandinavian, yet influenced by interaction with other cultures.

The Vikings are famous for their violent raids on Anglo-Saxon monasteries, incredible shipbuilding skills and general brutality. They are less famous, perhaps, for their artistic talents. Yet the precious fragments of art that survive from the Viking Age portray a far more mysterious side to Viking culture. From the so-called 'gripping beast' motif of the Oseberg wood carvings to the abstract animal ornamentation that adorns Viking jewellery, Viking art is defined by beautiful and intricate artistic styles that are distinctly Scandinavian, yet also show the Vikings' interaction with other cultures, culminating in their conversion from paganism to Christianity. To coincide with the first major exhibition on Vikings at the British Museum for over 30 years, Andrew Graham-Dixon invites viewers to explore and admire the splendours of Viking art.

1 hour

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Yma Sumac

    Gopher mambo

  • Efterklang

    Black Summer

  • The Smiths

    Oscillate Wildly

  • City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

    The Vikings – Rape and Pillage

  • Gavin Bryars

    One Last Bar, Then Joe Can Sing

  • Nick Cave and Warren Ellis


  • Jónsi & Alex

    Sleeping Giant

  • Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

    Moving On

  • Max Richter

    Laika's Journey

  • Mice Parade

    Circle None

  • Segal


  • Efterklang

    The Living Layer

  • City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

    The Vikings – Ragnar Returns

  • Arvo Pärt

    Missa Syllabica: Kyrie

  • Maya Beiser

    David Lang: World to come IV

  • Phil France

    The Swimmer

  • AC/DC

    Back in Black


Role Contributor
Presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon
Director David Briggs
Series Editor Janet Lee


  • Sat 15 Mar 2014 20:30
  • Tue 18 Mar 2014 23:20
  • Tue 18 Mar 2014 23:50
  • Thu 20 Mar 2014 00:00
  • Tue 1 Apr 2014 00:20
  • Tue 1 Apr 2014 01:20

BBC Arts

BBC Arts

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