Sophie Barling is a freelance writer.

Arty films and books to look out for in 2020

From The Rock as an art detective to warts-and-all Warhol – the must-see films and a first reading list for art lovers

30 Dec 2019
Recreation of a baroque feasting table in c. 1650, conceived and made by Ivan Day with taxidermy by David Astley and seafood and fruit models by Tony Barton.

‘Sugar paste is very fine, finer than porcelain’ – the art of historical banquets

The food historian Ivan Day talks about the historical table settings he has recreated for an exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum

25 Nov 2019
Boy Blowing on Firebrand (detail; c. 1660), Georges de la Tour.

Dijon’s grand old museum has a new look – and it really cuts the mustard

After a decade-long renovation, the palatial Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon can now show its masterpieces to even greater advantage

3 Oct 2019
Ansel Elgort in The Goldfinch (2019)

A filched finch that never really takes flight – The Goldfinch, reviewed

The film adaptation of Donna Tartt’s novel is visually enticing but unwieldy

1 Oct 2019
The Derelict (c. 1920), James Pryde.

Frieze week highlights: the Goya of Aberdeenshire and Cézanne in one piece

An exhibition of works by James Pryde and a display of new research on Cézanne are among the shows not to miss during Frieze Week

27 Sep 2019
Napoleon at Fontainebleau, 31 March 1814 (1840), Paul Delaroche.

Luxury in exile – at Napoleon’s country villa on Elba

The Mediterranean island still bears the mark of its most famous one-time resident

23 Sep 2019
Timothy Spall as L.S. Lowry in Mrs Lowry and Son (2019)

Matchstick men at the pictures – Mrs Lowry and Son, reviewed

Timothy Spall and Vanessa Redgrave co-star as the artist and his mother in this claustrophobic portrait of domestic dysfunction

2 Sep 2019
The Gruuthusemuseum in Bruges (pre-2014).

A history of Bruges in 20,000 objects

The gothic heart of Bruges now beats a little faster at the renovated Gruuthusemuseum

19 Aug 2019
100 Hand-drawn maps of my country, India (2014), Shilpa Gupta. Galleria Continua.

A new home for South Asian art in Dubai

The Ishara Art Foundation opened its doors last month with a show exploring boundaries and belonging

24 Apr 2019
Willem Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh in ‘At Eternity’s Gate' (2018)

Julian Schnabel makes us see through Van Gogh’s eyes – At Eternity’s Gate reviewed

The film tries to imagine what being the painter was like – the results are as stressful, and appealing, as you might expect

12 Apr 2019
Hand puppets (from a set of five) (c. 1923), Eberhardt Schrammen. Klassik Stiftung Weimar

‘People have to be reminded that the Bauhaus started here’ – inside the new Bauhaus Museum in Weimar

The city is taking pains to address all aspects – both good and bad – of the legendary design school’s history

11 Apr 2019
Fruit Harvest (September) (1670), Herman Saftleven. Onno van Seggelen (€55,000)

What not to miss at this year’s Salon du Dessin

A bucolic Dutch scene and a paper cut-out poppy are among the highlights of the fair in Paris

26 Mar 2019
The Musée de la Romanité, completed in 2018, sits on the Boulevard des Arènes, across from the 1st-century amphitheatre.

The best preserved Roman ruins in France now have a museum to match

The new Musée de la Romanité in Nîmes makes the most of the city’s classical past

5 Mar 2019

Arty films and books to watch out for in 2019

From a Van Gogh biopic to a novel about Lee Miller, the books and films with an art-historical twist coming up in the next few months

1 Jan 2019
Sports d’Hiver (1933), Erté. Stephen Ongpin Fine Art (£18,000)

Highlights from London Art Week’s winter edition

The exhibitions and events not to miss in Mayfair and St James’s this year

4 Dec 2018