Artists on the books keeping them company in isolation

From Nikolai Gogol to Susan Sontag, Joan Didion to Olga Tokarczuk: the authors inspiring artists during a time of lockdown

15 Apr 2020
Wrap-around dust jacket designed by John Minton for Elizabeth David’s A Book of Mediterranean Food (1950)

Lads and lobsters – John Minton’s food illustrations

The artist’s designs for Elizabeth David’s cookery books evoke a happy world of fine living and dining

13 Apr 2020
Pilgrimage to the Island of Cythera (1717), Antoine Watteau. Musée du Louvre, Paris, Photo: © Musée du Louvre, dist. RMN-Grand Palais

Fashion forward – the dashing designs of Antoine Watteau

The artist’s fashion etchings hint at the delight in transient pleasures that is so evident in his paintings

11 Apr 2020
Courtesy the British Museum

Behind the screens – how museums and galleries are going virtual

What exactly does it take to create an online exhibition? And will such platforms still be of use after lockdown?

9 Apr 2020
Chicken, Game Birds, and Hares (c. 1882), Gustave Caillebotte.

Acquisitions of the Month: March 2020

A transformative gift for Cleveland Museum of Art and some metal detectorists’ finds are among this month’s highlights

7 Apr 2020
William Wordsworth (detail; 1842), Benjamin Robert Haydon. National Portrait Gallery, London

The inward eye – painting, poetry and the world of William Wordsworth

The 250th anniversary of the poet’s birth prompts a reflection on his complicated relationship with the visual arts

7 Apr 2020
‘Ways of Seeing’ app in use before Jacopo del Sellaio’s painting in the Octagon Gallery at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Schoolchildren, science and smartphones shine new light on a Florentine masterpiece

An interdisciplinary project at the Fitzwilliam Museum has revealed tantalising possibilities about Jacopo del Sellaio’s Cupid and Psyche

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland with her son, probably Charles Fitzroy, as the Virgin and Child (c. 1664), Peter Lely. National Portrait Gallery, London

Mischief-making mistresses at the court of Charles II

How the women at the heart of the Restoration court ‘weaponised’ portraits that flaunted their influence over the king

4 Apr 2020
Susanna and the Elders (1652), Artemisia Gentileschi.

Keeping up with Artemisia

The National Gallery’s Artemisia exhibition may be postponed, writes its curator, but there are plenty of ways to explore her work in the meantime

3 Apr 2020
Wallpaper design, ‘Trellis’ (detail; designed 1862, first produced 1864), William Morris. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Priming up the walls – on colour and confinement

Some choose their wallpaper, some have paint schemes thrust upon them… a decorative dérive through the history of colour and interiors

1 Apr 2020
Untitled (Village Street Scene)(1948), Beauford Delaney. Terra Foundation for American Art. © Estate of Beauford Delaney, by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire, Court Appointed Administrator

‘Here is a man who could do whatever interested him in paint’ – on the paintings of Beauford Delaney

After a period of critical neglect the artist is at last in the ascendant, as his great friend James Baldwin always thought he would be

30 Mar 2020
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