(Photo: Getty)

The world belongs to Taylor Swift now. There will be no free-trial period

27 June 2015 9:00 am

All hail Taylor Swift. How she must give baby boomers the fear. Not just baby boomers. Also those who came…

Spectator letters: What decommissioned officers did after the war

23 May 2015 9:00 am

Soldiering on Sir: Max Hastings’s article about demobbed army officers trying for a job after the war struck a chord…

Underneath the arches: Cruikshank’s illustration of ‘one of those afflicting occurences in the life of London: 
TOM, JERRY and LOGIC are arrested in their progress home by the melancholy discovery of Corinthian KATE 
in the last stage of a Consumption, disease & inebriety’

Hogarth and the harlots of Covent Garden were many things, but they weren't 'bohemians'

2 November 2013 9:00 am

It was Hazlitt who said of Hogarth that his pictures ‘breathe a certain close, greasy, tavern air’, and the same…


The pen was mightier than the brush

2 June 2012 7:00 pm

Of the making of books about the Pre-Raphaelites, it appears, there is no end. Like the Bloomsberries, most of the…


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…


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…


A holy terror

11 February 2012 10:00 am

In the summer of 1520, Michelangelo Buonarotti wrote a letter of recommendation on behalf of his protégé, the painter Sebastiano…


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…

Don’t mention the war

10 December 2011 10:00 am

It wasn’t easy being the daughter of the artist Avigdor Arikha. In this memoir, Alba Arikha mixes teenage fury with…


William Nicholson: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings by Patricia Reed

5 November 2011 10:00 am

A pleasingly tactile canvas-like cover adorns this heavy book and proclaims its purpose; the boldly brushed illustration is a detail…


A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney by Martin Gayford

29 October 2011 10:00 am

Like his contemporary and fellow Yorkshireman, Alan Bennett, whom he slightly resembles physically, David Hockney has been loved and admired…


A Cumberland legend

8 January 2011 12:00 am

The legend of the glamorous artist Sheila Fell (1931–79), with her striking looks — black hair, white skin, large eyes — who died young, has tended to obscure the real achievement of her art.


Forget the matchstick men

4 December 2010 12:00 am

Here at last is a book that takes L. S. Lowry’s art seriously and treats it with the scholarly attention it deserves.


On the charm offensive

27 November 2010 12:00 am

Derek Hill (1916–2000), writes Bruce Arnold, was an English representational landscape and portrait painter of ‘haunting and evocative creative spirituality that is perhaps indefinable’.


Taking a firm line

23 October 2010 12:00 am

This book collects nearly 300 examples of Alasdair Gray’s work as a painter and illustrator.


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.

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.


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.


Odd men out

16 June 2010 12:00 am

The first game played by the Allahakbarries Cricket Club at Albury in Surrey in September 1887 did not bode well for the club’s future.


On the brink

2 June 2010 12:00 am

Stephen Potter’s Lifemanship contains a celebrated tip for writers who want to ensure good reviews.


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.