At the dawn of the 18th century, most British artists were seen as incompetent, destitute and disreputable. One hundred years later, they'd achieved wealth, status and glory. These artists battled aristocratic disdain, public indifference and centuries of tradition. They also fought each other in a no-holds-barred race to the top.
In this documentary, Andrew Graham-Dixon exposes the scandal, greed and rivalry lurking behind the canvases of Hogarth, Reynolds, Gainsborough and Stubbs. He also tells the story of the arena in which this battle was fought: the Royal Academy of Arts.