Robert Hanks is a freelance writer based in Cambridge

Has the Fitzwilliam still got the hang of things?

Though some regard it as provocative, it’s fairer to say that the museum’s sprucing-up of its paintings galleries is thought-provoking

24 Apr 2024

How Stanley Kubrick did it his way

A new life of the auteur lays bare the obsessiveness behind his films and what it cost everyone around him

4 Apr 2024

At the Kennel Club: the world’s largest collection of doggy art

The Mayfair institution contains scores of paintings of dogs who had jobs and some rather more pampered pets

18 Dec 2023

The vampire who created the modern world

Ever since F.W. Murnau adapted Bram Stoker’s Dracula for his seminal film Nosferatu, the vampire has haunted the modern imagination

15 Jan 2023
Carl Frederik Sørensen

Shifting sensibilities – how plein-air painting became all the rage

Once overlooked by both artists and collectors, the urgency of landscape studies holds an obvious appeal for modern audiences

9 Aug 2022

The fabulous films of Lotte Reiniger

The German director brought fairy tales to gorgeous, animated life with her silhouette films – the earliest of which is as remarkable now as it was in 1926

18 Dec 2021

Art is all about human touch – and right now that’s more disturbing than it sounds

With human contact all but banned, an exhibition about touch was always going to provoke mixed feelings

18 Mar 2021
Ship with seven men, net and gull (n.d.), Alfred Wallis.

Ship shapes – the nautical art of Alfred Wallis

Kettle’s Yard shows off its unrivalled collection of work by the mariner-turned-painter, for whom every boat had ‘a beautiful soul shaped like a fish’

24 Nov 2020
Conrad Veidt in The Man Who Laughs (detail; 1928).

‘The Man Who Laughs’ is a cautionary tale about grinning and bearing it

The inspiration behind Batman’s Joker and many a monster movie, Paul Leni’s ‘The Man Who Laughs’ is a masterpiece of Expressionist cinema

19 Aug 2020
Karl-Bertil Nordland and Barbora Kysilkova in The Painter and the Thief.

Stolen glances – The Painter and the Thief, reviewed

A documentary about the unlikely friendship between an artist and the man who stole her work raises tantalising questions about image-making and ownership

19 Jun 2020
Kirk Douglas (1916–2020) as Van Gogh in Vincente Minnelli’s Lust for Life (1956).

When Kirk Douglas played Van Gogh

A celebration of the late actor’s star turn as the tormented artist in Vincente Minnelli’s biopic of 1956

10 Feb 2020