The Lavergne Family Breakfast (1754), Jean-Etienne Liotard.

Acquisitions of the Month: May 2020

A masterful pastel by Liotard and more than 100 scenes of New York are among this month’s highlights

4 Jun 2020
Lee Miller, photographed in Egypt in 1939 by Roland Penrose (detail).

Guests and gadgets – in the kitchen with Lee Miller

Lee Miller’s last great reinvention is also her least well known – as an accomplished and authoritative cook at her East Sussex farmhouse

1 Jun 2020
Decameron (detail; 1837), Franz Xaver Winterhalter. The Princely Collections, Liechtenstein, Vaduz-Vienna

‘Boccaccio and the Black Death have been doing the rounds’

The Decameron is but one of the historical touchstones that commentators have turned to during the health crisis. But do they really help us orientate ourselves?

1 Jun 2020
Installation view of the collection at Museum MORE, which deliberately avoids a chronological hang

Keeping it real – neorealism in the Netherlands

Museum MORE has done a great deal to invigorate a genre once seen as hopelessly old-fashioned

29 May 2020
Chinese dish with artichokes, rose and strawberries (c. 1655–62), Giovanna Garzoni. Galleria Palatina, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence

The sophisticated still lifes of Giovanna Garzoni

The painter’s painstakingly precise botanical illustrations were highly sought after in the 17th century

29 May 2020
Barnard Castle (c. 1825), J.M.W. Turner

Flights of fancy – the artists who captured Barnard Castle

The 12th-century castle and surrounding town, located some 250 miles from London, have long attracted visually attentive visitors

28 May 2020
Susan Rothenberg in her studio in New Mexico in 2008.

‘For her, painting was the holy grail’ – on Susan Rothenberg (1945–2020)

A tribute to the American artist, whose haunting canvases ushered in a new wave of expressionism in painting

27 May 2020
The south facade of the original building of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which opened in 1924

Texas star – at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston

The museum, which boasts one of the leading encyclopaedic collections in the US, has reopened – months ahead of unveiling a major expansion

23 May 2020
Queen Mathilde of Belgium and King Philippe of Belgium visi the permanent collection of the Old Masters Museum, part of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, on May 19, 2020 in Brussels, as the country eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Daina Le Lardic/Belga/AFP via Getty Images

How will museums bring us close to art in an era of social distancing?

As museums around the world prepare to reopen, many do so with a renewed sense of purpose

22 May 2020
A selection of artworks featured in ‘Starry starry nights (or a few astral weeks)’ curated by the author using Art UK’s Curations tool

Show time – Art UK launches its new ‘Curations’ tool

The online platform is inviting anyone, anywhere, to create their own digital exhibitions

18 May 2020
Portrait of Madame Gonse (detail; 1852), Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Musée Ingres Bourdelle, Montauban

Pride of place – the Musée Ingres Bourdelle honours Montauban’s two most famous artistic sons

The museum in the south of France has spruced up its galleries dedicated to Ingres and now has an entire floor of sculptures by Bourdelle

16 May 2020
F.T. Marinetti (1876–1944).

Anti-pasta movement – on the Futurist Cookbook

F.T. Marinetti regarded macaroni-lovers as yesterday’s men. But are any of his radical recipes worth sampling?

14 May 2020
Mr Quick as Vellum in Addison’s ‘The Drummer’ (detail; 1792), Samuel De Wilde. Art Institute of Chicago

Acquisitions of the Month: April 2020

Portraits of an 18th-century comedian and the ‘real’ Lydia Bennet are among this month’s highlights

12 May 2020
Millicent Fawcett (detail; 1898), Theodore Blake Wirgman. Royal Holloway, University of London

Vote winner – a newly discovered portrait of Millicent Fawcett is a significant find

The painting at Royal Holloway presents a more reflective side of the tireless campaigner

12 May 2020
Dr Matthew Maty (1754), Barthelemy Dupan.

The Huguenot doctor who helped to fight smallpox – and worked at the British Museum

Matthew Maty, a leading advocate for inoculation, was also a librarian at the British Museum – and one of its early donors

11 May 2020
The restored Antikenhalle, or Hall of Antiquities, in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden.

King of the Zwinger – Dresden’s most important museum is more majestic than ever

The jewel in the crown of the city’s palatial complex of museums now shows off its masterpieces to even better effect

9 May 2020
Photograph taken at Balmoral in 1893/94 by Charles Albert Wilson. Ethel Cadogan, Lord William Cecil and Dr Alexander Profeit re-enact a scene from Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott in which Rebecca and a page kneel over Ivanhoe. Royal Collection Trust/© HM Queen Elizabeth II 2020

Making a scene – how the Victorians brought the past to life

Recreating scenes from famous paintings has been all the rage of lockdown, but it’s the Victorians who first played make-believe in earnest

7 May 2020

How my mudlarking finds have kept me company in convalescence

Beads, bottles, broken plates… these scraps of London’s history provide a welcome distraction in a time of sickness and solitude

5 May 2020
Germano Celant (1940–2020).

‘A giant of Italian art’ – on Germano Celant (1940–2020)

The critic and curator, who coined the term Arte Povera, played a large part in shaping the art world as we know it

4 May 2020
Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in January 2020.

Trial by fire – the rush to rebuild Notre-Dame

Was the pledge to restore the cathedral in just five years a reasonable commitment or a rash promise?

Florence Nightingale photographed by Millbourn in c. 1890. Wellcome Collection, London (CC BY 4.0)

How Victorian artists saw Florence Nightingale

The bicentenary of the founder of modern nursing has a particularly topical resonance, but how did her contemporaries regard the Lady with the Lamp?

4 May 2020
Detail showing the ‘second cabinet’ on page 50 of the Catalogue des Tableaux de Mr Julienne (c. 1756), compiled by Jean-Baptiste-François de Montullé. Morgan Library and Museum, New York

Getting the hang of it – a look inside the home of an 18th-century collector in Paris

An illustrated inventory made for Jean de Jullienne shows us how his paintings were displayed

29 Apr 2020
Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura) (detail; c. 1638–39), Artemisia Gentileschi.

The trials and triumphs of Artemisia Gentileschi

The artist knew exactly how to cultivate her own image, ensuring her great success – both then and now

25 Apr 2020
Cameo of Shapur and Valerian (detail; after 260), Iran. Photo: © Bibliothèque nationale de France

Knight riders – displays of chivalry at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

The museum makes the most of its French connections in this survey of conduct across medieval Europe and the Middle East

24 Apr 2020