William Aslet is currently studying for a PhD on the architecture of James Gibbs at the University of Cambridge.

View Near Norwich with Harvesters (detail; 1810–21), John Crome.

John Crome is forgotten today – but he once ranked alongside Constable and Turner

John Crome was among the greatest English landscape painters of his day – but you’ve probably never heard of him

18 Aug 2021
The Spanish Steps starring alongside Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday (1953).

Flight of fancy – the spectacle of the Spanish Steps

Sitting on the steps is now forbidden – but for centuries, the monumental staircase has been one of Rome’s most theatrical attractions

7 Jul 2021
Cover of Follies: An Architectural Journey by Rory Fraser

Fantasy land – a guide to English follies

A personal guide to the playful structures has much in common with its whimsical subject

21 Dec 2020
Photo: Longs Peak/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Redeeming features – how Palladio marked the end of the plague in Venice

Built to give thanks for Venice’s deliverance from the plague, the church of Il Redentore remains the centre of an annual festival marking the event

13 Jul 2020
The interior of St Martin-in-the-Fields, showing the plasterwork ceiling made by Giuseppe Artari and Giovanni Battista Bagutti.

Instant classic – the many versions of St Martin-in-the-Fields

Commissioned 300 years ago, James Gibbs’ design for the London church was soon replicated around the world

17 Mar 2020