Tom Stammers is writing a book on collecting and heritage in post-Revolutionary France

Can reconstructing historic collections give us the wrong idea about the past?

Reuniting objects that belonged to important collectors can be a visual treat, but there are some intellectual traps to be avoided

30 May 2019
Le Quai Saint Michel et Notre-Dame de Paris (detail; 1901), Maximilien Luce. Musée d'Orsay, Paris.

‘Notre-Dame’s fortunes have merged with the destiny of France itself’

Over the centuries Notre-Dame de Paris has become much more than a place of worship – it is a symbol of a nation

18 Apr 2019
Caresses (detail; 1896), Fernand Khnopff. Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels. Photo: J. Geleyns Art Photography

Modern art, with a Belgian flavour

Fernand Khnopff was among the most original artists of the fin-de-siècle – but his dreamlike images are unmistakably Belgian

22 Dec 2018
La Vachalcade, Fernand Pelez

Picturing poverty in the 19th century

In her final book Linda Nochlin makes a case for painting that looks poverty in the eye

27 Apr 2018

How the French Rothschilds turned their private passions into public gifts

A monumental new study argues that ‘the patronage of the French Rothschild family is a European history of taste’

14 Oct 2017
Andiron representing Psyche, , 1809, made by Pierre-Philippe Thomire, after a design by Charles Percier.

The man who created ‘dictator chic’

Charles Percier may not be a household name, but his Empire style sums up the Napoleonic era – and has had imitators ever since

16 Mar 2017

It’s time to look again at the golden age of sleaze and splendour

Was the French Second Empire as morally and artistically bankrupt as its critics made it out to be?

26 Sep 2016

Cavorting amid the ruins with Hubert Robert

The Louvre's Hubert Robert exhibition was a revelation

2 Jun 2016

Diary: on Francis Haskell

The enduring intellectual influence of Francis Haskell, the ‘historian’s art historian’ who reshaped the whole discipline.

31 Aug 2015