Synopsis by Leslie Birdwell
This is the last episode in the four-part Painting the World series. The program is hosted by the director of the National Gallery in London, Neil MacGregor, an authority on art as well as an interesting and amusing speaker. Each episode in the series considers the opinions and beliefs of the time, and how certain significant paintings best illustrate the more contemporary European view of the world, the self, and the nature of God. The focus in this final installment is on Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump by Joseph Wright of Derby, a painting that reflects the interest and faith in science during the Age of Reason, the intellectual ancestor of the 21st century.