Rick Steves to showcase European art history during KCTS 9 show

Rick Steves and crew with Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy. (Photo courtesy Rick Steves)

Starting this week on KCTS 9, Edmonds-based European travel expert Rick Steves will premiere Rick Steves Art of Europe — a six-hour sweep through the entire span of European art history.

One hour will air each week on Mondays at 10 p.m. and Tuesdays at 7 p.m. The series begins Monday, Oct. 3 and Tuesday, Oct. 4 with “Stone Age to Ancient Greece.” Up next, it will be “Ancient Rome,” followed by “The Middle Ages,” “The Renaissance,” “Baroque” and, finally, “The Modern Age.”

According to a press release:

Rick Steves Art of Europe is the culmination of Rick showcasing Europe’s great art and architecture on public television for three decades. Climbing deep into prehistoric tombs on remote Scottish isles, summiting Michelangelo’s magnificent dome at the Vatican, waltzing through glittering French palaces, and pondering the genius of Picasso and Van Gogh, Steves does for art what he does for travel — makes it fun and accessible.

This artistic journey vividly tells the story from the earliest European art, with its cave paintings and mysterious stone circles, and follows the rise and fall of great civilizations, from the massive pyramids of Egypt, to the ethereal temples of Greece, to the grandeur of ancient Rome. After a thousand years of Middle Ages — with mighty castles, soaring cathedrals, and radiant religious art — Rick invites viewers to gaze into the eyes of David and witness how the beauty of ancient times was reborn in the Renaissance.

Europe’s divine monarchs, with their awe-inspiring palaces and exuberant art, were eventually countered by the Enlightenment and revolution which brought about a flowering of new styles: from stern Neoclassicism, to unbridled Romanticism, to the sun-dappled canvases of the Impressionists. Rick takes viewers to the finish by careening through Europe’s tumultuous 20th century, exploring ever-wilder frontiers of artistic expression. Through it all, we celebrate the joy of European art as it both connects us to the past and points the way forward.

Just a few hours before Rick Steves Art of Europe premiers on TV, viewers can join Steves live on his website at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3 for a virtual celebration of the show, including a sneak peek at some of his favorite scenes, from building a Gothic cathedral out of 13 tourists to playing a little “Bernini for your ears” on the piano. This is a free Monday Night Travel event, and all are welcome.

Register at www.ricksteves.com/mnt.

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