Robert O’Byrne is a writer specialising in the fine and decorative arts, and an Apollo columnist. He blogs at

View of the entrance and façade of the National Gallery of Ireland, 2017, Photo: © National Gallery of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland enters a new era

The National Gallery of Ireland’s six-year-long refurbishment gives its Old Masters and Irish paintings a chance to shine

10 Jun 2017
Vase of Flowers (1924), Henri Matisse. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The fake feud between Picasso and Matisse

Shortly after Matisse’s death, Clive Bell called time on the artist’s rivalry with Picasso – and rightly so

10 Apr 2017

A look back over Rodin’s rollercoaster career

The French sculptor attracted commissions and controversy in equal measure, and his reputation is constantly being reassessed

21 Mar 2017
The Finnish art historian Tancred Borenius (1885–1948), photographed in his office in 1940. Photo: William Vandivert/Getty Images

‘He helped set the standard for Apollo’

Tancred Borenius (1885–1948), one of Apollo’s earliest contributors, is remembered for his significant contribution to art history and criticism

27 Feb 2017
Single-volume Qur’an (1340–41), copied by Arghun al-Kamili, possibly Iraq, Jalayirid period. Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Istanbul

A look back at the beautifully inventive art of the Mamluks

The artistic achievements of the Mamluks rival those of the Renaissance, argued Mahonri Sharp Young in a 1981 issue of Apollo

24 Feb 2017

The flower painter who was fed up with his masterpieces

Henri Fantin-Latour’s finest works are the flower paintings that he made in bulk – but he didn’t think so

14 Jan 2017
National Gallery of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland is finally to reopen

It’s been a long wait indeed, but the gallery’s refurbishment is nearing completion, and there’s a good line-up of temporary exhibitions, too

3 Jan 2017

Irishness is not the most interesting thing about Irish art

This new book on Irish art in the early modern period includes excellent texts by non-national authors that finally place Irish artists in a European context

22 Nov 2016

Remembering Anne Crookshank (1927–2016)

Irish art history owes a huge debt to the pioneering contribution of Anne Crookshank

24 Oct 2016

Save our museums!

Public collections need eloquent and passionate defenders if they are to thrive in today’s tough climate

23 Aug 2016