Red faces in the galleries

21 April 2010 12:00 am

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


A certain look

7 April 2010 12:00 am

Just as there are people who are their own worst enemies, so there are books that are their own worst reviews.


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).

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.

Squeaks and squawks

14 December 2009 12:00 am

Jonathan Cecil is nostalgic for the voices of the Bloomsberries

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.

Fiery genius

16 September 2009 12:00 am

In July 1967, a young artist named John Nankivell, living in Wantage, plucked up the courage to knock on John Betjeman’s front door, in the same town, to show the poet (whom he had never met) some of his architectural drawings.

Not so serene

9 September 2009 12:00 am

Is there anything original left to say about Venice? Probably not, but that doesn’t stop the books from coming, tied in, as they mostly now are, with a television series.