Double exposure

18 September 2010 12:00 am

I never thought I’d write these words.


Doing what it says on the tin

14 August 2010 12:00 am

If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface: of my paintings and films and me, and there I am.


Built for eternity

14 August 2010 12:00 am

The Escorial, as a monastery and a royal palace, was the brain child of Philip II of Spain.

A flammable individual

30 June 2010 12:00 am

On the night of 18 October 1969, thieves broke into the Oratory of San Lorenzo, Palermo, and removed Caravaggio’s Nativity.


More than a painter of Queens

30 June 2010 12:00 am

The last words of Hungarian-born portraitist Philip de László, spoken to his nurse, were apparently, ‘It is a pity, because there is so much still to do.’ As Duff Hart-Davis’s biography amply demonstrates, for de László, art — which he regarded as ‘work’ as much as an aesthetic vocation — was both the purpose and the substance of his life.


A man after his time

30 June 2010 12:00 am

Denys Watkins-Pitchford (1905-1990) illustrated dozens of books under his double-barrel and wrote at least 60 of his own under the two initials ‘BB’.


Small but perfectly formed

23 June 2010 12:00 am

Some years ago, Edmund de Waal inherited a remarkable collection of 264 netsuke from his great-uncle Iggie, whom he had got to know 20 years previously while studying pottery and Japanese in Tokyo.


Painting the town together

2 June 2010 12:00 am

This book recounts a terrible story of self-destruction by two painters who, in their heyday, achieved considerable renown in Britain and abroad.


Red faces in the galleries

21 April 2010 12:00 am

Art fraudsters, especially forgers, have a popular appeal akin to Robin Hood.


Our squandered national treasure

14 April 2010 12:00 am

Torn with grief, Melvyn Bragg has produced a condolence book for the South Bank Show (born 1978, died of neglect, 2010).


Thoroughly hooked

14 April 2010 12:00 am

On the southern edge of Kensal Green cemetery, beneath the wall that separates the graves from the Grand Union Canal, is a memorial inscription that would stop a Duns Scotus in his tracks.


Fine artist, but a dirty old man

31 March 2010 12:00 am

I have always been sceptical of those passages in the ‘Ancestry’ chapters of biographies that run something like this: Through his veins coursed the rebellious blood of the Vavasours, blended with a more temperate strain from the Mudge family of Basingstoke.


Life beyond the canvas

24 February 2010 12:00 am

Angela Thirlwell’s previous book was a double biography of William Rossetti (brother to the more famous Dante Gabriel) and his wife Lucy (daughter of the more famous Ford Madox Brown).


A dramatic streak

10 February 2010 12:00 am

Late in the 19th century, archaeologists digging in the Roman Forum discovered a lime kiln.


A dream made concrete

6 January 2010 12:00 am

You are celebrated as the architect of one of the most famous buildings in the world, now in your late eighties and living quietly in your home outside Copenhagen.

Master of accretion

30 December 2009 12:00 am

Frank Auerbach (born 1931) is one of the most interesting artists working in Europe today, a philosophical painter of reality who works and re-works his pictures before he discovers something new, something worth saving.

The king of chiaroscuro

14 December 2009 12:00 am

These days, it is easy to take it for granted that Caravaggio (1571-1610) is the most popular of the old masters, yet it was not ever thus.

Repeat that, repeat

9 December 2009 12:00 am

The Infinity of Lists by Umberto Eco, translated by Alastair McEwen

The optimism of a suicide

9 December 2009 12:00 am

A postal strike would have been a disaster for Van Gogh.

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

Surprising literary ventures

9 September 2009 12:00 am

Miranda the Panda is on the Veranda (1958) by Doris Sanders and Patricia Highsmith

Dilly-dallying romance

22 April 2009 12:00 am

Constable in Love, by Martin Gayford

From worthless to priceless

15 April 2009 12:00 am

The Ultimate Trophy: How Impressionist Painting Conquered the World, by Philip Hook

Shrine of a connoisseur

7 April 2009 12:00 am

Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, by Tim Knox, photographs by Derry Moore


Red Star Over Russia

4 March 2009 12:00 am

Red Star Over Russia, by David King