Camille Pissarro
The Avenue, Sydenham, 1871.
© The National Gallery, London

Inventing Impressionism at the National Gallery reviewed: a mixed bag of sometimes magnificent paintings

When it was suggested that a huge exhibition of Impressionist paintings should be held in London, Claude Monet had his…


The Heckler: Tate Britain is a mess. Its director Penelope Curtis must go

Things have not been happy at Tate Britain for some time. Last year Waldemar Januszczak wrote an article culminating with…

‘Two Figures in a Room’, 1959, by Francis Bacon

The dos and don’ts of the Russian art scene

They’re doing fantastic deals on five-star hotels in St Petersburg the weekend the Francis Bacon exhibition opens at the Hermitage.…

‘Group with Parasols’, c.1904, by John Singer Sargent

Sargent, National Portrait Gallery, review: he was so good he should have been better

The artist Malcolm Morley once fantasised about a magazine that would be devoted to the practice of painting just as…

Van Gogh's 'The Diggers' (1889). Credit: Collectie Stedelijk

Where Van Gogh learned to paint

William Cook reports from the sooty netherworld that made an artist of Vincent Van Gogh

Sound and vision: spectators watch Polly Harvey in a glass box recording her new album

The future of the album lies in the gallery

The album is not what it was. It still exists, in record collections, as part of the torrential streaming of…

‘Woman at Her Toilette’, 1875/80, by Berthe Morisot

2015 in exhibitions - painting still rules

The art on show over the coming year demonstrates that we still live in an age of mighty painters, says Martin Gayford


Sorry – the Vikings really were that bad

Forget that guff about peaceful farmers with an interest in travel

‘Dalston Lane no.1’, 1974, by Leon Kossoff

Exhibitions: Leon Kossoff, The Bay Area School

Paint is but coloured mud, pace scientists and conservators, and it can be said that the human animal comes from…

‘Hickbush Landscape’, by Patrick George;

Painting begins at 90 – celebration of Jeffrey Camp, Anthony Eyton and Patrick George

Andrew Lambirth on the artists Jeffery Camp, Anthony Eyton and Patrick George

‘Queen Tomyris’, 1448–9, by Andreadel Castagno

Springtime of the Renaissance: Sculpture and the Arts in Florence, 1400–1460

Sixty per cent of the best Renaissance art is said to be in Italy, and half of that is in…


Fruitful oppositions

There are so many good exhibitions at the moment in the commercial sector that the dedicated gallery-goer can easily spend…

Religious doubt

No description of Eric Gill is ever without the words ‘devout Catholic’, and Eric Gill: Lust for Letter & Line…


Look and learn

Bridget Riley turns 80 this year, a fact easy to forget when looking at the surging energy and contemporaneity of her pictures.


More real art, please

Although I am an admirer of Dulwich Picture Gallery, and like to support its generally rewarding exhibition programme, I will not be making the pilgrimage to see its latest show, Norman Rockwell’s America.


Best in show

Penelope Curtis, director of Tate Britain, talks to Ariane Bankes about the planned revamp of the museum and 100 different ways of showing sculpture


Death watch

Although I stopped watching TV some years ago, films are a continuing solace and pleasure.


A look ahead

The trend of fewer temporary exhibitions in our museums is becoming established, as the cost of mounting blockbusters escalates beyond even the generous reach of sponsorship.


Intimations of infinity

Andrew Lambirth finds a striking metaphor for the physical limitations of earthbound existence versus the infinite freedom of the spirit in Paul Nash’s painting ‘Winter Sea’


Exhibitions Round-up: lifting the heart

The run-up to Christmas is the perfect season for an exhibition of Andrew Logan’s joyful and extravagant art.


Light relief

The so-called Glasgow Boys had no manifesto, common background or style, apart from working in and around the city of Glasgow and sharing a belief in the importance of painting from direct observation and experience.


Come together

Niru Ratnam invites you to join in and take off your trousers in the name of art at the taxpayer’s expense — while you still can


At the heart of Europe

The historic centre of Bruges has 16 museums, enough to cater for every touristic taste. There’s a Diamond Museum, a Lace Centre, a Choco-Story (the narrative element distinguishes it from the 50 chocolate shops) and a Friet Museum — or ‘Belgian Fries Museum’, for English-speakers under the misapprehension that fries are French. But the main focus of the city’s five-yearly festival, now in full swing, is on a local product the French cannot lay claim to: the Flemish painting tradition founded by Jan van Eyck, who died in Bruges in 1441.


Smoke and mirrors

The Prince, according to Machiavelli, ‘should appear, to see him, to hear him, all compassion, all good faith, all integrity, all piety’ — which might be translated into Basic Blairish as ‘should appear a pretty straight kind of guy’ — but, as the Florentine Father of Spin emphasised, it was a great deal more important to seem to have, rather than actually to have, these qualities.


Small blessings

As I pointed out last week, one of the chief attractions of the Treasures from Budapest show at the Royal Academy is the inclusion of two rooms of Old Master drawings.