Neon sign made in the 1950s for Raymond Revuebar in Soho, London, photographed in 2015 after restoration and reinstallation.

Light fantastic – a short history of neon

From Raymond Chandler to Tracey Emin, writers and artists alike have long been seduced by the melancholy brilliance of neon

25 Mar 2020
Paul Klee in his atelier at the Bauhaus Weimar, 1923 (photo by Felix Klee). Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern; © Klee-Nachlassverwaltung, Hinterkappelen

Feat of Klee – how the Swiss-born artist saw comic potential in dark times

The final years of Paul Klee’s life coincided with the rise of Nazism – but the painter deployed his taste for humour and satire to the last

23 Mar 2020
The Towpath (1912), C.R.W. Nevinson

Grand union – how canals have captivated British artists for centuries

Painters from Constable to the present day have been inspired by urban waterways as a place for both lovers and labourers

21 Mar 2020
View of the port of Algiers from the Casbah, January 2020. Photo: Layli Faroudi

The Algerians battling to save the Casbah from crumbling

It may be on Unesco’s list of World Heritage sites, but the houses of the famous district have suffered years of neglect

19 Mar 2020
Albertina Modern

The Albertina Modern’s opening has been delayed – so what are we missing out on?

The contemporary art satellite of the Albertina was set to open last week. Visitors will find solace there, says its director, when the lockdown is over

16 Mar 2020
The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, 1838 (1839), J.M.W. Turner.

Rigged results – the artistic licence of Turner’s Fighting Temeraire

In depicting the final journey of a fêted battleship, Turner tweaked the facts to inflate the pathos of the scene

12 Mar 2020
Alpine Mastiffs Reanimating a Distressed Traveler (detail; 1820), Edwin Landseer.

Acquisitions of the Month: February 2020

One of Landseer’s earliest masterpieces and a 16th-century drug jar are among this month’s highlights

10 Mar 2020
Kasper, photographed in his apartment in New York in March 2017.

Kasper (1926–2020)

The fashion designer, who has died at the age of 93, filled his Upper East Side apartment with art – from Old Master drawings to Anselm Kiefer. In this republished interview from 2017, he discussed the evolution of his collection

9 Mar 2020
(Left) Anti-slavery medalliion (c. 1787), modelled by William Hackford and manufactured by Josiah Wedgwood. Metropolitan Museum of Art; (right) Sugar box (1744/45), Paul de Lamerie. Metropolitan Museum of Art

British aisles – the Met’s new galleries don’t shy away from addressing a complicated past

The collection is now displayed with a greater sense of social history – without sacrificing aesthetic delight

6 Mar 2020
Girl in a red kimono (detail; c. 1893), George Hendrik Breitner. Kunstmuseum Den Haag

Beyond TEFAF – more to see in and around Maastricht this year

As the art world makes for Maastricht, it’s worth casting an eye further abroad to the full range of events and shows across the region

5 Mar 2020
Sandstone ram-headed sphinxes (reign of Ramesses II; c. 1250 BC), from the first court in the Temple of Karnak in modern Luxor. Four of these sphinxes have now been taken to Cairo (photo: January 2020). Photo: © Ivar Sviestins

Why is the Egyptian government moving ancient monuments around the country?

The transfer of obelixes and sphinxes to Cairo is the latest episode in a long history of rulers using the ancient past for their own ends

29 Feb 2020
The Raphael tapestries hanging in the Sistine Chapel, Rome.

The triumphant – but temporary – return of Raphael’s tapestries to the Sistine Chapel

For just one week the full set of surviving tapestries commissioned by Pope Leo X could be seen in their original setting

28 Feb 2020
The inhabited Pont de Rohan (built 1510) in Landerneau, Brittany.

‘The arrival of a large cultural centre in Landerneau was a real coup’

The presence of the Fonds Hélène & Édouard Leclerc has raised the cultural profile of the small town in Brittany

24 Feb 2020

Open access image libraries – a handy list

A round-up of museums and archives that have released high resolution images into the public domain

18 Feb 2020
The Virgin and Child surrounded by the apostles and two angels (mid 15th century), Master of the Amber-Spotted Tunic, Ethiopia. Private collection

The emperor who rooted out magic in medieval Ethiopia

Vivid illuminated manuscripts show how important the cult of the Virgin Mary was to the emperor Zar’a Ya‘eqob

15 Feb 2020
A cardboard presentation case for storing silkworm eggs. State Silk Museum, Tbilisi. Photo: Guram Kapanadze

Sheer delight – at the State Silk Museum in Tbilisi

The world’s most significant collection of silkworm cocoons, and many other marvels of sericulture, can be found in the capital of Georgia

12 Feb 2020
The Skeleton in Armor (detail; 1883), Walter Crane. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen

A Viking-inspired frieze by Walter Crane finds a new home in Rouen

The Musée des Beaux-Arts in the capital of Normandy, where the Vikings once ruled, is the perfect place for this painting of a wandering warrior

11 Feb 2020
The Seattle Asian Art Museum, designed by Carl F. Gould, which opened in 1933 as the home of the Seattle Art Museum

‘It’s very meaningful to have an Asian art museum in this city’

The Seattle Asian Art Museum reopens with a thorough overhaul of its displays – and a commitment to being open about uncomfortable recent histories

8 Feb 2020
Beethoven with the manuscript for Missa Solemnis (detail; 1820), Joseph Karl Stieler.

How the only portrait Beethoven posed for in his lifetime became a much coveted memento

For the past two centuries, Joseph Karl Stieler’s portrait of the composer has been highly sought after by music lovers

4 Feb 2020
The Trumpeters (c. 1735–40), Nainsukh of Guler.

Acquisitions of the Month: January 2020

A masterpiece of Pahari painting and a pot adorned with poetry are among this month’s highlights

3 Feb 2020
Head with Horns (detail; before 1894), artist unknown. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

A closer look at the ‘fake’ Gauguin at the Getty

The wooden horned head is now believed to be by an unknown artist. Questions over its attribution to Gauguin were examined in Apollo in 2009, in an article republished in full here

31 Jan 2020
The new glass roof covering the courtyard of the Princes Czartoryski Museum in Kraków. Photo: Tomasz Markowski; © National Museum in Kraków

A new look for the princely collection that now belongs to the Polish state

The Princes Czartoryski Museum in Kraków has reopened after a decade of controversies and delays

30 Jan 2020

Hester Diamond (1928–2020)

The much-loved art collector has died at the age of 91. She discussed her passion for the Old Masters in Apollo in 2011, in an interview republished in full here

29 Jan 2020
The Egyptian Antiques Seller, (1884), Charles Wilda.

The Victorian collectors who loved art from ancient Egypt

The reunited fragments of a bowl in Bolton Museum can tell us a lot about the longstanding British enthusiasm for ancient Egypt

25 Jan 2020