John McEwen


To be astonished by nature, look no further than Claxton

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Mark Cocker is the naturalist writer of the moment, with birds his special subject. His previous book, Birds and People,…

The ring-necked parakeet, one of the most successful birds to colonise London, still looks conspicuously out of place in Hyde Park in the snow

What's eating London's songbirds?

16 August 2014 9:00 am

This book, with its absurdly uninformative photographs, dismal charts and smattering of charmless drawings, looks like a report. A pity,…

Portrait of a young woman with a bible in her hand by Johannes Thopas, 1680–85

No special pleading needed for this disabled Dutch master

21 June 2014 9:00 am

To discover an ‘unknown’ is the dream of anyone connected with the arts and in Johannes Thopas (c.1626-1688/95) we have…

‘Study of a Velvet Crab’ c. 1870, presented by John Ruskin to the Ruskin School of Drawing (University of Oxford) in 1875

How seriously should we take Ruskin as an artist?

3 May 2014 9:00 am

This stout and well-designed volume nicely complements Tim Hilton’s classic biography of John Ruskin. It is the catalogue for the…

Snowy Owl

Toowit-towoo! At long last, a Collins book on owls

8 February 2014 9:00 am

Owls have more associations for us than perhaps any other family of birds, suggested Jeremy Mynott in Birdscapes, so it…

Great egret

Birds & People, by Mark Cocker - review

3 August 2013 9:00 am

‘A world without birds would lay waste the human heart,’ writes Mark Cocker. Following his Birds Britannica and prize-winning Crow…


Our most exotic bird

20 October 2012 9:00 am

The Black Grouse (Merlin Unwin, £20) is Patrick Lurie’s first book and the first ever on the the subject. Lurie…


How do birds fly south?

25 February 2012 10:00 am

Did you know the external ‘shell’ of the ear is the pinna? That a woman’s oestrogen level alters the way…

Bearing the brunt

6 November 2010 12:00 am

Ostensibly this small book is a jolly and true story (illustrated with some charming black-and-white snapshots) about the military experiences of Wojtek (pronounced Voycheck), the bear who, bought as a cub by Polish soldiers in Persia, earned name, rank and number as the mascot of the 22nd Company of the Artillery Supply Command, 2nd Polish Corps.


Liberating Visions

2 October 2010 12:00 am

Victor Willing (1928–88) is perhaps the least classifiable of the brilliant early-1950s Slade generation, which includes his wife Paula Rego.


Scottish clash

12 May 2010 12:00 am

Highlands and Islands: Paintings and Poems
Fleming Collection, 13 Berkeley Street, W1, until 5 June


A towering talent

5 May 2010 12:00 am

Ian Massey is a writer, artist and lecturer and this is his first book.

Flower power

25 November 2009 12:00 am

Mrs Delaney (1700-88) is an inspiring example for old age; also a reproach to those who think ‘upper class’ a term of abuse and that women have only recently had a life.

Romantic approaches

4 November 2009 12:00 am

Spectator readers will know that Andrew Lambirth is a romantic, a force for the literary and poetic approach to art criticism, so he is an admirably empathetic guide to Hoyland

The Oaks of Cheyithorne Barton

8 July 2009 12:00 am

The Oaks of Chevithorne Barton, by Michael Heathcoat Amory

The sweetness pictures can add to life

18 June 2008 12:00 am

John McEwan on the new book by Peter Mann and Sargy Mann

Poles apart

14 May 2008 12:00 am

John McEwan on Douglas Hall's new book

Flights of fancy

5 March 2008 12:00 am

John McEwan on two ornithological books


Blast from the past

28 November 2007 12:00 am

Percy Wyndham Lewis 1882–1957, Design Centre, Rugby School, until 8 December


Life and conflict

10 October 2007 2:52 pm

Exhibitions 2: Michael Sandle: Allegory and Refiguration

Treasures of the South Seas

19 July 2006 5:13 pm

The enlarged, updated and now undivided Sainsbury Centre has reopened with the most comprehensive selection of Polynesian art ever assembled;…

The Knight’s noble rescue

11 March 2006 12:00 am

This handsome and scholarly book is a catalogue of a selection of pictures of Ireland, all, remarkably, collected over the…

Cheeps, tweets and warbles

19 November 2005 12:00 am

In his old age John Ruskin lamented, ‘I have made a great mistake. I have wasted my life with mineralogy,…

Haunting melancholy

14 May 2005 12:00 am

As a former winner of Britain’s most prestigious award for painters, the John Moores prize (other winners include Hamilton, Hilton,…

Visual agility

7 May 2005 12:00 am

It is difficult to place oneself in the position of the pioneers of graphic art shown at the Estorick Collection:…