Features

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot. Photo: courtesy ITV

Thoroughly modern murder: how Poirot came to personify art deco

Agatha Christie’s sleuth has been nowhere more at home than in ITV’s interwar locations – their clean lines the perfect match for the punctilious Poirot

5 Apr 2021
Nancy and Olivia (detail; 1967), Alice Neel. Collection of Diane and David Goldsmith.

Alice Neel, our contemporary

The painter’s urgent, sympathetic portraits of her fellow New Yorkers are exactly what we need in these troubled times

3 Apr 2021

How Britain’s first prime minister became a sitting target for satirists

Robert Walpole was a supreme political operator – but his power and personal wealth made him a splendid butt of satire, too

2 Apr 2021
Church of Saint-Médard, 5th arrondissement (detail; 1900–01), Eugène Atget. Musée Carnavalet – Historie de Paris.

In lockdown Paris, the photographs of Eugène Atget suddenly feel eerily familiar

Walking around the city can feel like following in the footsteps of the famous photographer – but today’s empty streets are altogether more depressing

29 Mar 2021

By royal arrangement: Queen Mary’s compulsive collecting

Many British royals have been keen on acquiring works of art, but few have been as diligent about looking after them as Queen Mary

27 Mar 2021

Seven cultural escapes if you’re stuck in the UK all summer

You’re not going abroad this summer – but you can still have a holiday with an artistic twist

25 Mar 2021
The Mausoleum of Augustus.

The tomb of Rome’s first emperor at last reveals its secrets

The restored tomb of Augustus reopened this month – and an extensive new website gives a good sense of what has happened to it over the last two thousand years

22 Mar 2021
Noël Coward and Gertrude Lawrence in Private Lives (1931) at Times Square Theatre, New York.

Surface tension: the glamorous world of Noël Coward

The glittering displays of Noël Coward and chums masked an altogether less divine reality – but anxiety and fear were always part of the act

20 Mar 2021
Congo Woman (detail; 1942), Irma Stern.

In search of Irma Stern, whose paintings still embody the contradictions of South Africa

Irma Stern’s idylls of African life have too often been read at face value – but they mask a more troubled history

19 Mar 2021
Brooch (1963), Andrew Grima.

Pinpoint perfection: how the brooch became an experimental art form

Since the 1960s, artists and designers have regarded the brooch as a miniature sculpture – and an opportunity to try out new materials and techniques

13 Mar 2021
Alan Bowness with Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red at the Tate, 1980

Alan Bowness (1928–2021) – an evangelist for modern art who transformed the Tate

Norman Rosenthal celebrates a great champion of contemporary art in Britain, who as director of the Tate founded the Turner Prize

10 Mar 2021

How to turn your home into a DIY art gallery

Will Martin steps away from his screen and takes his cues from some of the world’s leading contemporary artists

9 Mar 2021
The Queen's Theatre at Versailles, built 1779–79 by Richard Mique for Marie Antoinette.

Drama queen: a peek inside Marie Antoinette’s private theatre

When Marie Antoinette had a theatre built at Versailles, her play-acting took to a stage of its own – and now this splendid interior has been meticulously restored

4 Mar 2021

Is the French government about to criminalise photojournalists?

A proposed law will prevent journalists and the public from photographing the police – and follows widely publicised acts of police brutality, writes Valeria Costa-Kostritsky

Steak night: Dario Cecchini grills a rib-eye, inspired by a still life by Jacopo Chimenti

A taste of the Uffizi, with Tuscany’s top chefs

Videos of top Italian chefs chewing over the Uffizi’s collection have a delightfully homemade flavour

1 Mar 2021
The tomb of Richard and Isabel Burton at the church of St Mary Magdalen, Mortlake, built 1891.

The Victorian adventurers who pitched their tent for eternity

Richard and Isabel Burton are buried in a quiet churchyard in south London – but their remarkable tomb is a fitting monument to these insatiable travellers

1 Mar 2021
Market crash: does anybody mourn the death of VHS?

Video in demand? The nostalgic appeal of VHS

Videos have become relics of a bygone era – but they are attracting a new following, glitches and all

27 Feb 2021
Fiddlesticks! The art of bead-stringing in the 21st century.

For the women of Venice, the fiddly art of bead-stringing is worth fighting for

Stringing glass beads was once the main work available to Venetian women – but it’s now a protected craft pursued by only a handful of skilled artists

25 Feb 2021
Portrait of the Collector of Modern Russian and French Paintings, Ivan Abramovich Morozov (detail; 1910), Valentin Serov. Courtesy Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

The merchant from Moscow who fell for the Parisian avant-garde

Ivan Morozov built one of the greatest modern art collections in the world – but only a century after his death is his legacy being recognised

24 Feb 2021

The Swiss museums leading the charge to reopen

Museums in Switzerland have appealed to the government to let them reopen – and French museums are following suit

23 Feb 2021
Nurses dance around the Bethnal Green mulberry in 1944, three years after it was bombed.

The battle to save London’s mulberry trees

Mulberry trees are rare in the city, yet more than one is currently under threat – including the oldest tree in the East End

22 Feb 2021
Still Life with Apples (1877–78), Paul Cézanne.

Core values: the story of art in eight apples

The humble apple has enticed all manner of artists, from Greek potters to Pop pioneers

15 Feb 2021
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