‘Rain, Steam and Speed — The Great Western Railway’, 1844, by J.M.W. Turner

Tate Britain’s Turner show reveals an old master - though the Spectator didn’t think so at the time

27 September 2014 9:00 am

Juvenilia is the work produced during an artist’s youth. It would seem logical to think, therefore, that an artist’s output…

‘14.11.65’ by John Hoyland

Is John Hoyland the new Turner?

27 September 2014 9:00 am

What happens to an artist’s reputation when he dies? Traditionally, there was a period of cooling off when the reputation,…

‘Modern Family’, 2014, byEd Fornieles,at Chisenhale Gallery

‘Likes’, lacquered cherry pies and Anselm Kiefer: the weird world of post-internet art

27 September 2014 8:00 am

In the mid-1990s the art world got excited about internet art (or ‘’, as those involved styled it). This new…

Portrait of a couple as Isaac and Rebecca, known as ‘The Jewish Bride’, c.1665, by Rembrandt

Why everyone loves Rembrandt

27 September 2014 8:00 am

Talking of Rembrandt’s ‘The Jewish Bride’ to a friend, Vincent van Gogh went — characteristically — over the top. ‘I…

‘A Battery Shelled’, 1919, by Percy Wyndham Lewis

The Imperial War Museum finds a deadly place to display first world war masterpieces

13 September 2014 9:00 am

The Imperial War Museum has reopened after a major refit and looks pretty dapper, even though it was overrun by…

‘I wish my boyfriend was as dirty as your policies’, 2011,by Coral Stoakes

Agitprop, love trucks and leaflet bombs: the art of protest

30 August 2014 9:00 am

Titles can be misleading, and in case you have visions of microwave ovens running amok or washing machines crunching up…

‘He thought he could have made it as a visual artist — if only more people had liked his work.’ Above: John Arlott reading (1977) and Kathy and Jessy (1963)

The gentle intoxications of Laurie Lee

28 June 2014 9:00 am

On Laurie Lee’s centenary, Jeremy Treglown wonders how the writer’s legacy stands up


Why the BBC will never match Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation

17 May 2014 9:00 am

No modern critic would dare match Kenneth Clark’s fearless way with sweeping statements

Della Francesca’s ‘Resurrection’

The mathematical revolution behind ‘the greatest picture in the world’

19 April 2014 9:00 am

The Indian inspiration with which Piero della Francesca created ‘the greatest picture in the world’


This beautiful new history of Kew Gardens needs a bit of weeding

12 April 2014 9:00 am

Edward Bawden’s Kew Gardens is a beautiful book. Lovers of early 20th-century British art will find it hard to stop…

American novelist Siri Hustvedt Photo: Getty

Caught between a New Age rock and a theory junkie hard place

22 March 2014 9:00 am

Siri Hustvedt’s new novel isn’t exactly an easy read — but the casual bookshop browser should be reassured that it’s…

The Hunters in the Snow, 1565, by Pieter Brueghel Photo: De Agostini/Getty

A spirit to warm Bruegel’s ‘Hunters in the Snow’

15 February 2014 9:00 am

The ostensible subject matter is misleading, as is any conflation with his lesser relatives’ wassailing peasants and roistering village squares.…


Clarissa Tan's Notebook: Why I stopped drinking petrol

25 January 2014 9:00 am

Florence was in fog the day I arrived. Its buildings were bathed in white cloud, its people moved as though…

Saving Italy, by Robert M. Edsel - a review

20 July 2013 9:00 am

During the civil war, the Puritan iconoclast William Dowsing recorded with satisfaction his destructive visit in 1644 to the parish…


When a smartphone gallery is better than the real thing

20 July 2013 9:00 am

Michael Prodger finds that new technology is transforming how we experience art – in galleries, on computers and on smartphones too

Christopher Sykes’s diary: David Hockney, Bridlington lobster, and the risks of a third martini

6 July 2013 9:00 am

I began my week with a trip to Bridlington, the closest seaside town to my childhood home. ‘Brid’, as it’s…

‘Artist’s Studio “Look Mickey”’, 1973, by Roy Lichtenstein

How Roy Lichtenstein became weighed down with superficiality

9 March 2013 9:00 am

Andrew Lambirth finds that Roy Lichtenstein became weighed down with superficiality


An enigma wrapped in a conundrum

26 May 2012 4:00 pm

What to make of Banksy? Artist or vandal? Tate Modern holds no Banksys and, other than a redundant phone box…


The picture of health

14 April 2012 10:15 am

It must have been hard to settle on a title for this book; but then this is not the book…


Bookends: Disarming but disingenuous

14 April 2012 9:00 am

At first glance, Be the Worst You Can Be (Booth-Clibborn Editions, £9.99) by Charles Saatchi (pictured above with his wife,…


Where dreams take shape

7 April 2012 10:00 am

The question of what artists actually get up to in their studios has always intrigued the rest of us —…


A fine and private painter

31 March 2012 11:00 am

Prunella Clough was a modest and self-effacing artist who nevertheless produced some of the most consistently original and innovative British…


Portraits of an age

3 March 2012 10:00 am

By a fine coincidence, two legendary icons of British art were being feted in London on the same evening last…


Currents of imagery

17 December 2011 9:00 pm

In the first book of his scientific-cum-philosophical poem ‘De rerum Natura’ — or ‘On the Nature of Things’ — Lucretius…


Oh brother!

17 December 2011 8:00 pm

Long in the writing, deep in research, heavy to hold, this is the latest of umpteen biographies of Vincent van…