Reviews

Learning in style at the Bibliothèque nationale

The French national library’s exceptional collections now have the setting they deserve

30 Jan 2023

An insider’s guide to 18th-century Ireland

Robert O’Byrne reads between the lines of the itemised contents of great Irish houses

30 Jan 2023

Renaissance painting in its prime

David Young Kim’s ingenious study of grounds and figures takes the reader on an unfamiliar journey through familiar territory

30 Jan 2023

Constructive criticism and midcentury modernism

Eero Saarinen’s marriage to the publicist Aline Louchheim tells us a lot about how the architect made his name

30 Jan 2023

Edward Hopper’s fear of heights

The painter who defined the experience of modern New York never felt quite at home in the high-rise city

30 Jan 2023

The heavenly bodies of Guido Reni

An exhibition at the Städel Museum shows that the baroque painter’s idealised figures are certainly an acquired taste

30 Jan 2023

The art of showing things as they really are

Hyperrealist sculptors today, and still-life painters of the past, have all tried to trick their viewers into accepting fiction as truth

27 Jan 2023

In Naples, Artemisia is still a very bankable star

The imposing architecture of the Palazzo del Banco di Napoli makes a fitting stage for the artist’s gruesome scenes of greed and retribution

25 Jan 2023

Nan Goldin takes a stand – All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, reviewed

Laura Poitras’s documentary about the photographer is an inspiring account of her blurring of the lines between life, art and activism

20 Jan 2023

The French culture minister who fell out of love with the arts

In her score-settling memoir, Roselyn Bachelot calls out ungrateful artists and time-serving bureaucrats

20 Jan 2023
Ma gouvernante – My Nurse – Mein Kindermädchen by Meret Oppenheim

The mixed messages of Meret Oppenheim

The artist’s mastery of unusual materials gave her a real edge over her peers

3 Jan 2023

How to cut a statue down to size

Robert Bevan’s call to require a lot less from our public monuments has much to recommend it

3 Jan 2023
by Giorgio Vasari

The vanished collection of Giorgio Vasari

Giorgio Vasari’s famous collection of Renaissance drawings was dispersed after his death, and scholars have been trying track down its contents for centuries

3 Jan 2023
The Plumb Pudding in Danger by James Gillray

National lampooner: James Gillray vs the British establishment

The artist’s excoriating images have long set the standard for political satire

3 Jan 2023

Lucian Freud and the art of paying attention

No one could accuse the painter of flattering his subjects, but he was certainly painstaking about capturing them on canvas

3 Jan 2023
still from Gray Glass by Fiona Tan

Fiona Tan turns back time in Amsterdam

The artist rifles through archives and our collective imaginations to reshape what we think we know about the past

23 Dec 2022
Installation view of ’Maria Bartuszová’ at Tate Modern, London, in 2022. Photo: © Tate/Joe Humphrys

Plaster master – Maria Bartuszova at Tate Modern, reviewed

The Slovakian sculptor poured and moulded plaster into creations that evoke the body and the natural world in equal measure

21 Dec 2022
Photocall for the production of A Chorus Line at the London Palladium in 2013.

Making a song and dance about musicals in the museum

A disappointingly static display at the V&A will make you long for the stage

21 Dec 2022

The Renaissance painters who turned to stone

It was Sebastiano del Piombo who rediscovered the ancient art of painting on stone and inspired others to make the most of their material

15 Dec 2022

Scary storeys – ‘Horror in the Modernist Block’, reviewed

Contemporary artists explore the fearful side of modernist architecture at Ikon, but a real sense of menace may be missing

2 Dec 2022
Women modelling spectacles of unusual shapes (1925)

Ways of seeing at the Wellcome Collection

The eye may be our most perceptive organ, but it can sometimes make us blind to the other senses

28 Nov 2022
Poor Relations by George Goodwin Kilburne

What the Victorians liked to hang on their walls

Thanks to mass production (and reproduction), in the 19th-century some middle-class home began to resemble miniature picture galleries

28 Nov 2022
Restoration, Villa Borghese by Milton Gendel

The American who conquered cafe society in Rome

For seven decades, Milton Gendel recorded his charmed existence in delightfully candid photos and diaries

28 Nov 2022

The triumph of the Tudors

Other European dynasties of the period had equally thriving court cultures, but none has had such a hold on the popular imagination

28 Nov 2022