Christopher Baker is director of European and Scottish Art and Portraiture at the National Galleries of Scotland

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