Apollo's wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories. Got a story for Rakewell? Email rakewell@apollomag.com. Follow @Rakewelltweets.

Ghost of Christmas parties past – Mr Fezziwig's Ball by John Leech, from Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' (1843).

The art of Christmas parties

The Dickensian illustrator John Leech would have been the ideal artist to capture the spirit of Downing Street festivities – fictional or otherwise

10 Dec 2021
A Sunday on the Island of La Grande Jatte

What Stephen Sondheim saw in Georges Seurat

The pointillist painter inspired the composer and lyricist to make his most personal artistic statement

5 Dec 2021
Claudia Roth at the Deutscher Hoerfilmpreis, Berlin, in 2019.

The culture ministers who really are culture vultures

Delighted by the fact that the new German culture minister once managed a rock band, Rakewell recalls other culture ministers with an artistic bent

28 Nov 2021
Gal Gadot’s art thief eyes up one of ‘Cleopatra’s eggs’ in 'Red Notice'.

Gal Gadot turns to art crime, with The Rock in hot pursuit

’Red Notice’ may not be most sophisticated heist film, but it’s hard to resist The Rock on the trail of Wonder Woman

21 Nov 2021

Todd Haynes takes on the Velvet Underground – but could he have gone even further?

Rakewell couldn’t be happier about the film-maker’s documentary about the band – but does have a suggestion for a sequel

14 Nov 2021
Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Contemporary art has a new home – at the Vatican

Pope Francis seems to be a fan of contemporary art – and he’s hardly the first pontiff to have encouraged the latest artistic developments

5 Nov 2021
The Laughing Cavalier (detail; 1623), Frans Hals.

A hairy situation at the Wallace Collection

The moustachioed can get into the Wallace Collection’s Frans Hals exhibition for free on Mondays – but Rakewell has a much better idea

29 Oct 2021
Alan Titchmarsh. Courtesy Garden Museum

Alan Titchmarsh, Renaissance man

Rakewell is delighted to learn that the superstar TV gardener is also something of an art aficionado

22 Oct 2021
Egon Schiele’s Seated Male Nude (Self-Portrait) (1910), from the collection of the Leopold Museum, Vienna, stars in the Vienna Tourism Board’s outré campaign

Vienna flaunts its assets on OnlyFans

Nudes by Titian, Rubens and Schiele are now available to viewers on the adults-only subscription service

15 Oct 2021
Courtesy Netflix

Why Squid Game looks so strangely familiar

The hit series takes many of its visual cues from M.C. Escher – and a host of other films that have been inspired by the Dutch artist

10 Oct 2021
Shoes (1886), Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Sole survivors – how to draw your way out of heartbreak

Some unusual relationship advice has recently caught Rakewell’s eye. Next time you’re nursing a broken heart, why not try drawing your shoe?

28 Sep 2021
Model citizen: Miriam Margolyes at the UK premiere of ‘The Carer’ on 5 August, 2016.

When Miriam Margolyes met Augustus John

The actor offered her services as a life model to the painter when she was 19. One can only wonder that she got away so lightly

24 Sep 2021
Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, in a publicity still for ‘The Maltese Falcon’ (1941).

The mystery of the real-life Maltese Falcon

The film noir starring Humphrey Bogart is back in cinemas – but the confusion over what happened to the statuettes of the falcon remains to be cleared up

19 Sep 2021
Ponying up at the National Gallery.

My Little Pony rides again – at the National Gallery

Masterpieces of equestrian art are about to get some rainbow-coloured companions, thanks to an augmented-reality makeover

12 Sep 2021
I Love You a Latte (2021), Jemima Sara

The artists who have turned to coffee for their creative fuel

Making coffee might be considered an art form – but don’t forget the artistic possibilities offered by the substance itself

3 Sep 2021
Jay-Z and Beyoncé pose with Basquiat’s ‘Equals Pi’ (1982) in Tiffany’s ‘About Love’ campaign.

The shady affair of the Tiffany-blue Basquiat

Now that the jeweller has found a painting in just the right shade of its corporate colours, can other brands be far behind?

28 Aug 2021

Clueless in Crete – Dominic Raab holidays while Kabul falls

We don’t know if the foreign secretary made it to the Palace of Knossos, but his career may soon be ancient history

20 Aug 2021
Elon-gated Venus: Elon Musk and Grimes visiting the Uffizi

Elon Musk’s day out at the Uffizi

Where Winckelmann and Walter Pater have trod, the tech entrepreneur follows

11 Aug 2021
Whimsy galore: Glasgow decked out as Philadelphia for the arrival of Indiana Jones. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Glasgow gets dolled up for the movies

Filming for Batman and Indiana Jones has transformed the city in recent weeks – to the delight of Glaswegians

6 Aug 2021
Sales force? Justin Bieber for Balenciaga’s Fall 2021 ready-to-wear collection.

Will Balenciaga make Beliebers of us all?

The former teen idol turned fashion icon is in full Renaissance prince mode in Balenciaga’s latest campaign

30 Jul 2021
Blue rinse and repeat: Damien Hirst with The Currency artworks.

Damien Hirst, new kid on the blockchain

Damien Hirst has joined the NFT funfair – and he’s even brought former Bank of England governor Mark Carney along for the ride

23 Jul 2021
Shy Renaissance? Cicciolina promoting Pornhub's 'Classic Nudes' campaign

Lewd Louvre, porno Prado – Pornhub makes a foray into fine art

The adult streaming site Pornhub has roused some of the world’s most revered nude paintings to life in a series of graphic videos

16 Jul 2021

In Denmark, a very silly, supersized sandcastle

The tallest sandcastle ever built towers over a seaside town – and there’s no risk of the waves washing it away

9 Jul 2021
Denise Coates accepting her CBE at Buckingham Palace in 2012.

The Courtauld takes a punt on the queen of online gambling

The Courtauld has named its new exhibition galleries after Bet365 billionaire Denise Coates – and Rakewell has a suggestion for the exhibition programme

2 Jul 2021