Christopher Baker is an honorary professor at Edinburgh University. He was formerly a director at the National Galleries of Scotland.

The most spectacular floor in Italy

With its combination of visual splendour and complex allegory, the marble pavement of Siena Cathedral is one of the most enticing of all Renaissance masterpieces

1 Sep 2023

The gilded pages of Evelyn De Morgan

At Leighton House, intricate gold drawings by the Pre-Raphaelite artist reveal her great debt to Italian sources

17 Aug 2023

Dosso Dossi’s scenes from the Aeneid are a Roman triumph

Reuniting the surviving works from the painter’s ‘Frieze of Aeneas’ series allows us to imagine one of the great Renaissance ensembles more clearly

16 Apr 2023

How Italy protected its art from the Nazis

An exhibition in Rome recounts the complicated tale of efforts to safeguard masterpieces across the country during the Second World War

17 Feb 2023

The heavenly bodies of Guido Reni

An exhibition at the Städel Museum shows that the baroque painter’s idealised figures are certainly an acquired taste

30 Jan 2023

The Renaissance painters who turned to stone

It was Sebastiano del Piombo who rediscovered the ancient art of painting on stone and inspired others to make the most of their material

15 Dec 2022
The Debutante (detail; 1807), Henry Fuseli.

The fetishistic side of Henry Fuseli

The artist’s drawings of women are a testament to his private proclivities. It’s no wonder he never put them on public display

4 Nov 2022
Jusepe de Ribera

Wilton House may be famous for its sculpture, but its paintings are just as worthwhile

The paintings acquired by the earls of Pembroke over several generations now have the catalogue they deserve

20 Oct 2022
Richard Cosway

How Van Dyck made his mark on English portraiture

It’s no secret that Van Dyck inspired generations of artists, but a new book paints a more nuanced picture of the painter’s reception

26 Sep 2022
Self-portrait with Two Pupils (detail; 1785), Adélaïde Labille-Guiard. Adélaïde Labille-Guiard

Entente cordiale: the pally portraitists of 18th-century France

Portraits were used to further friendships – and as networking opportunities – in Enlightenment France

16 Apr 2021
A Young Lady with a Parrot (detail; c. 1730), Rosalba Carriera.

Fruitful pastels – the colourful career of Rosalba Carriera

A new study examines the 18th-century artist’s pioneering use of pastel and her capacity for self-promotion

27 Nov 2020
Chinese dish with artichokes, rose and strawberries (c. 1655–62), Giovanna Garzoni. Galleria Palatina, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence

The sophisticated still lifes of Giovanna Garzoni

The painter’s painstakingly precise botanical illustrations were highly sought after in the 17th century

29 May 2020
Patrons and Lovers of Art (1826/30), Pieter Christoffel Wonder

The private collection that paved the way for the National Gallery

The Marquess of Stafford’s noble endeavour gave the public a taste of what a national collection might look like

29 Jan 2020
The fetus in the womb (detail; c. 1511), Leonardo da Vinci.

‘Rich insights into a restless mind’ – Leonardo’s drawings at the Queen’s Gallery

Leonardo’s art may be universal, but his notes and sketches also reveal a man firmly rooted in his age

12 Jul 2019
Portrait of Marsilio Cassotti and his wife Faustina (1523), Lorenzo Lotto

The mysterious masterpieces of Lorenzo Lotto

The Venetian painter was overshadowed by Titian in his day, but his subtle portraits have a very modern appeal

30 Jan 2019
Venus and Vulcan (c. 1545), Jacopo Tintoretto. Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Tintoretto’s drawings fizz with energy and invention at the Morgan

The 500th anniversary of the Venetian master’s birth prompts this celebration of his sprightly draughtsmanship

12 Dec 2018
Charles I ('Le Roi à la chasse') (detail; c. 1635), Anthony Van Dyck. Musée du Louvre, Paris.

Charles I, the connoisseur king

His political judgements may have been poor, but Charles I’s art collection was first rate

3 Mar 2018