The problem with Paul Gauguin

There’s no doubt that the painter was an important and intriguing artist, but that doesn’t excuse his behaviour

2 Apr 2024

How Harriet Backer worked wonders in Norway

The painter is in no need of rediscovery at home, but her painstaking depictions of everyday life deserve to be better known abroad

16 Jan 2024

How Finland eventually fell for Impressionism

The movement was slow to find favour in the north, but this gave Finnish artists time to take what they wanted from France

2 Nov 2023

The painters who have made the most of poor visibility

As a book about mist and fog in European painting shows, artists have often taken a very hazy view of the landscape

16 Aug 2023

Family fortunes – ‘The Rossettis’, reviewed

The Tate does a decent job of bringing the Rossetti women to the fore – but it still lets Gabriel run away with the show

19 Apr 2023
The Forest of Bavella, Corsica, 7:10 am, 29 April 1868 (1868), Edward Lear. Photo: Woolley and Wallis Salerooms Ltd.

There’s nothing nonsensical about the lonely landscapes of Edward Lear

The Victorian poet and painter mapped out his moods in meticulous detail, sometimes even minute by minute

16 Sep 2022
After Tsunami Galu Afi, Lalomanu (2013), Yuki Kihara. Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

Sea change – a fresh perspective on the art of Oceania

A rehang of Christchurch Art Gallery’s permanent collections emphasises non-European patterns of influence

12 Aug 2020
Moby Dick Transcendent (1930), Rockwell Kent, illustration for the Lakeside Press edition of Moby-Dick.

Depicting Moby Dick – the artists who set out to capture Melville’s white whale

Moby-Dick is a novel suspicious of visual representation – but one that has inspired scores of illustrators and painters

21 Aug 2019
Moret, Winter (1895), Maurice Cullen.

French Canadians – how Impressionism caught on in the Great White North

This welcome survey of Canadian artists shows how the quintessentially Parisian style was imported and reimagined

25 Jul 2019
Prisoners Exercising (1890), Vincent van Gogh.

How Victorian London inspired Vincent Van Gogh

The Tate explores how the painter’s eyes were opened to new influences during his time in the city

26 May 2019
The Bathing Posts, Brittany (1893), James McNeill Whistler.

How Whistler tamed nature in his landscape scenes

With the man-made world a strong presence in his Nocturnes, beach scenes and gardens, Whistler was no pure nature boy

31 Oct 2018
Small photograph with analysis of drawing by (1935), Reuben Mednikoff.

Psychorealism by the sea with Grace Pailthorpe and Reuben Mednikoff

André Breton once described the pair as the ‘best and most truly Surrealist’ of British artists

17 Oct 2018
Dickens’s Dream (detail; 1875), Robert William Buss.

Does the spirit of Charles Dickens live on in his furniture?

A table owned by the author has been export stopped in the UK – a situation that Dickens himself would have relished

8 Aug 2018
Daydream (detail; 1900), Odilon Redon

The enigmatic visions of Odilon Redon

A new exhibition suggests that Redon’s pictures owe as much to literature and music as they do to the visual arts

17 Jul 2018
Eagle Owl, Edward Lear.

The many moods of Edward Lear

Jenny Uglow’s biography brings the writer and artist’s love of contradictions to the fore

24 Nov 2017
Élevage de poussière (1920), Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. © Succession Marcel Duchamp/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017 © Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017

Gathering dust at the Whitechapel Gallery

With its abstract qualities and unsettling symbolic significance, dust emerged as a key theme in 20th-century photography

13 Jun 2017
The Critics (1927), Henry Scott Tuke. Warwick District Council (Leamington Spa, UK)

The Tate was right to look again at queer British art

Context is as crucial to this exhibition as the art itself. Tate strikes a tricky balance between the two

14 Apr 2017

Crossing space and time with the Victorians

‘The breadth of the Atlantic, with all its waves, is as nothing’

29 Sep 2016

How photography and painting focused the Victorian mind

An exhibition at Tate Britain makes forceful claims for the imaginative use of memory in both art and photography

5 Aug 2016

Sea View

‘Nelson, Navy, Nation’, a new gallery at the National Maritime Museum, is at its best when it challenges our relationship to its well-worn stories

28 Oct 2013