Little Girl in a Large Red Hat (c. 1881), Mary Cassatt. Princeton University Art Museum

Acquisitions of the month: January 2021

One of Mary Cassatt’s sensitive portraits of childhood is among this month’s highlights – along with the Trump Baby blimp

13 Feb 2021
The Miraculous Draught of Fishes (detail; 1515–16), Raphael. Photo: © V&A; courtesy Royal Collection Trust/HM Queen Elizabeth II 2021

The fantastically fishy business of the Raphael Cartoons

Did Raphael know a bream from a sardine? Tessa Murdoch consults her fishmonger

11 Feb 2021
Upside down, you’re turning me… paintings by Georg Baselitz at the Albertinum in Dresden.

What happens when you hang a painting upside down?

Georg Baselitz says it makes the viewer pay closer attention – but plenty of paintings have simply been upended due to gallerists’ gaffes

9 Feb 2021
Bon vivant – Keith Floyd in 1991.

The best of Keith Floyd, dished up on canvas

The colourful TV chef Keith Floyd makes an unlikely subject for fine art – but for the painter Lydia Blakeley, he has all the right ingredients

8 Feb 2021
The mail gaze: museum postcards in Amsterdam.

The unruly life of museum postcards

We’re all building miniature museums at home, and postcards of paintings have taken on a life of their own

8 Feb 2021

The British artists who saw a world on their doorsteps

Landscape painting went local in 19th-century Britain, writes Susan Owens, as artists celebrated the miniature marvels they found close to home

7 Feb 2021
Lockdown Lisa: La Gioconda as a jigsaw.

Seven fiendish art jigsaws that will see you through lockdown

Thousands of paintings have been snipped up into jigsaws – but some are infinitely more puzzling than others

5 Feb 2021
Crowning Glory? Henry VIII wearing the lost Tudor crown in a portrait by Hans Holbein.

Has a piece of Henry VIII’s lost crown been buried in the Midlands for 400 years?

Late medieval gold is vanishingly rare, so a metal detectorist’s discovery may be a truly spectacular find

Meet the artists who were built by a bot factory

Andrei Taraschuk wants to inundate the internet with art – and has made hundreds of bots posing as famous artists

3 Feb 2021
David Medalla (1942–2020).

With no limit to his curiosity, David Medalla brought a truly global outlook to 1960s London

From his sitting room in west London, the Manila-born artist created a vital space for avant-garde artists and writers

3 Feb 2021
A room with a view: upon arriving in Seoul, art critic Andrew Russeth quarantined in a hotel room with views of landmarks including Gyeongbokgung Palace.

After the long days of quarantine, Seoul’s museums are a salve to the spirit

Mid-pandemic, the art critic Andrew Russeth moved from New York to Seoul. His first stop out of quarantine? A museum, of course

1 Feb 2021

Richard L. Feigen (1930–2021) – a legendary art dealer whose own private collection was the toast of New York

The renowned art dealer has died at the age of 91. In March 2014, he opened up his extraordinary private art collection to Apollo, in an interview republished in full here

1 Feb 2021
The Empress in the Tarot Garden at Garavicchio.

Niki de Saint Phalle’s psychedelic garden is a seriously good trip

In her Tarot Garden in Tuscany, the French-American artist let her imagination run riot

31 Jan 2021
The South Cloister at Wilton House, designed by James Wyatt in c. 1801.

In the 18th century, collecting antiquities was a curiously creative pursuit

Thomas Herbert’s collection of ancient sculpture at Wilton House was heralded during his lifetime – but it relied on somewhat fanciful premises

30 Jan 2021

Seven music videos that take a cue from art history

Kara Walker’s fountain at Tate Modern plays a starring role in FKA Twigs’ new video – and it’s not the first artwork to have a brush with the charts

27 Jan 2021
Gothic revival? The vaccine queue at Salisbury Cathedral

Six heritage hotspots dishing out Covid vaccines

It’s nigh-on impossible to get a decent dose of culture right now – unless you’re signed up for a jab at a museum

21 Jan 2021
Installation view of 'Russian Avant-Garde at the Museum Ludwig: Original and Fake – Questions, Research, Explanations', with works by or previously attributed to Olga Rozanowa shown side by side.

What a sham! On fakery and the Russian avant-garde

Suspect and bona fide works rub shoulders at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne – in a display the museum presents as an opportunity for close looking

16 Jan 2021
Self-portrait of the Artist Hesitating Between the Arts of Music and Painting (1794), Angelica Kauffman. Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire.

The forgotten fame of Angelica Kauffman

The Swiss artist reinvented history painting from a female perspective. It’s a shame a planned exhibition about her in London has been cancelled

13 Jan 2021
Patricia Highsmith (detail; 1942), Rolf Tietgens.

Queen of suspense – the art of Patricia Highsmith

The novelist’s Ripley thrillers explore deceit like no others – but her candid drawings tell a different story

12 Jan 2021
Anatomical models of the eye and its extrinsic muscles, c. 1755–69, Anna Morandi. Museo di Palazzo Poggi, Bologna

How Bologna pioneered the art of anatomical wax modelling

Palazzo Poggi houses the extraordinary 18th-century creations of a school dedicated to wax modelling – invaluable tools for medical students at the time

9 Jan 2021
Zola on trial (1898), Maurice Feuillet.

Acquisitions of the Month: December 2020

Courtroom sketches from the trials of Alfred Dreyfus and of Émile Zola are among this month’s highlights – along with a major collection of arms and armour

7 Jan 2021

A tribute to Homan Potterton (1946–2020)

As a young museum director, Homan Potterton transformed the National Gallery of Ireland’s collection – but he would resign suddenly, later gaining success as a writer

6 Jan 2021

Rate of return – is France’s commitment to restitution waning?

In a changing political climate, conversations about colonial history – and calls for action – are taking on a new urgency

Arty films and books to look forward to in 2021

From a Netflix flick about the Sutton Hoo dig to a study of women’s self-portraits – the must-see movies and a first reading list for art lovers

4 Jan 2021