6 Best Art Documentaries on YouTube

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If you don’t have a subscription to one of the major streaming platforms, but would like to see a good documentary about art, then check out our list of the 6 best art documentaries on YouTube.

Since humans began walking the Earth, there has been art. Even in the prehistoric period, humans used art to express themselves, and that need for expression using art hasn’t changed. The thing that has changed is our perception of art. From cave paintings to photography, people always found a way to create art using the world around them. The great thing about art is that anyone can make it, and understanding of art is individual. It doesn’t mean art you make will be any good, or that other people will think of it as art at all, but something that you created and think of as art and that stands as an expression of your ideas and feelings, has to be art. I have already discussed my views on art in our list of the 11 Best Art Documentaries on Amazon Prime, where you will find some awesome art documentaries that you can stream if you have an Amazon Prime subscription.


It is hard to determine what makes a good art documentary. My opinion is that true art documentaries have to be also art unto themselves in a way. If you are talking about art, and creating something that explores the art, it isn’t just enough to be genuine or true to the facts. To move me, an art documentary has to make me care about the art/artists and show me the world that art has given birth to. Biography details can be read on Wikipedia, pictures and paintings can be “Googled”; give me something that I can’t find elsewhere. I don’t know, maybe that is just me.

Let’s get back to the topic of the 6 best art documentaries on YouTube. To get our list, first we took recommendations from Artnet, Complex and Huffington Post, among others. Then we looked to see if they were available on YouTube to be streamed in full, for free (the best part). How does Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)‘s YouTube let millions of people watch videos for free? Through advertising revenue of course. YouTube pulled in $5.6 billion in revenue last year, which, while a relatively small amount in the grand scheme of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (which pulled in $73.5 billion in revenue when all was said and done), it’s an impressive figure nonetheless. However, Alphabet is currently embroiled in a controversy that has seen several major brands pull ads from the service, over concerns that they are being shown alongside repulsive content.

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Back to the topic a hand, art documentaries on YouTube are relatively hard to come by, but we did manage to find around 15 titles that were recommended and available. The last piece of the puzzle was to rank the documentaries based on their IMDb rating to formulate the full list of best art documentaries on YouTube. Let’s take a look at it then, starting on the next page.

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