Reviews

James VI & I (detail; c. 1620), Paul Van Somer.

At home with the Stuarts – Palaces of Revolution by Simon Thurley, reviewed

A new study reminds us that royal palaces were places to live in as well as impressive displays of power

13 Oct 2021
Francis Bacon photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1960 in his studio at Overstrand Mansions in Battersea, London.

How Francis Bacon got by – with a lot of help from his friends

A new biography of the painter gives full credit to the cast of characters who supported him before he found success

12 Oct 2021
Shangri-La Express

The adventures of Reinhard Behrens and his rusty toy submarine

The painter has created a fictitious world called Naboland which he explores with the help of a rusty submersible

8 Oct 2021
Subway, from the series One Hundred New Views of Tokyo (1931), Senpan Maekawa.

For the real Tokyo story, look beyond kooky stereotypes of the city

An ambitious show at the Ashmolean Museum looks past the familiar clichés to the real city and its artists 

5 Oct 2021
Dublin, Number One Ferry – Dinner Hour

All aboard – the transporting art of Jack B. Yeats

Although grounded in actual places and actual people, the artist’s subjects were always utterly transformed by his imagination, writes Tom Walker

5 Oct 2021
Installation view, Array Collective at the Turner Prize 2021, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry.

This year’s Turner Prize nominees are all doing valuable work – but why compare them?

The shortlisted collectives are more interested in what takes place outside the museum – so considering them for an art prize seems besides the point

30 Sep 2021

The uncanny universe of Leiko Ikemura

The Japanese-Swiss artist’s first exhibition in the UK introduces her eerie, fantastical world to a new audience

28 Sep 2021
Putting the kitsch in kitchen: Paris Hilton is ready to cook.

Paris Hilton takes a leaf out of Jane Austen’s recipe book

The venerable tradition of copying out recipes in household books lives on in the most unexpected places

27 Sep 2021
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Anthony McCoy in Candyman (2021; dir. Nia DaCosta).

The Candyman is back – and this time he’s haunting the art world

The Chicago art scene turns out to be a suitably chilling setting for Nia DaCosta’s sequel to the cult horror film

23 Sep 2021
Marie-Caroline, Duchesse de Berry sailing to exile in Scotland (c. 1830), unknown artist. Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Bordeaux.

The Romantics who revolutionised how we think about the past

Rosemary Hill’s nimble survey shows how 19th-century antiquarians paved the way for modern historians

21 Sep 2021
The Frogs who ask for a King (1884; detail), Gustave Moreau.

Sting in the tale – how Gustave Moreau added bite to La Fontaine’s fables

Rarely exhibited since their creation, the intense, jewel-like watercolours of the French symbolist make for exhilarating viewing

17 Sep 2021
The Captain and The Mate (2017–18), Lubaina Himid.

The British painting scene is a free-for-all these days – and that’s no bad thing

The Hayward’s survey of contemporary painting proves that the medium is thriving – with the figurative artists perhaps edging that little bit ahead

17 Sep 2021
Cosimo I de’ Medici

Hazardous dukes – Medici portraits at the Met, reviewed

An entrancing exhibition shows how Cosimo I de’ Medici harnessed art to consolidate his family’s grip on power

10 Sep 2021
Jeff Koons’ ‘Bouquet of Tulips’ displayed next to the Grand Palais in Paris in 2019.

What we say when we say it with flowers

Artists and writers have always been fascinated by flowers – and we all like receiving them – but some floral arrangements are more sinister than others

7 Sep 2021
Installation view of ‘Drinking with the Gods’, Cité du Vin, Bordeaux, 2021.

Drinking wine in ancient Greece was a divine but demanding business

The gods were great sticklers for ceremony and frowned on oenophiles who didn’t observe the rules

3 Sep 2021
Richard Chopping’s covers for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963) and Goldfinger (1959) by Ian Fleming.

Dust jackets and dinner jackets – the man who illustrated Bond

Richard Chopping’s striking designs for Ian Fleming’s novels add greatly to the books’ allure for collectors – but his artistic talent went far beyond Bond

31 Aug 2021
Installation view, ‘Balls’, OOF Gallery, London, 2021.

Eyes on the ball – the new art gallery at the Spurs stadium is an unexpected winner

Exit through the gift shop at Tottenham Hotspur and you’ll find a gallery full of art inspired by the beautiful game

26 Aug 2021
Interior with Woman at a Virginal

Do paintings have minds of their own?

Not all works of art need be interpreted – some simply demand that we spend some quality time with them

25 Aug 2021
View Near Norwich with Harvesters (detail; 1810–21), John Crome.

John Crome is forgotten today – but he once ranked alongside Constable and Turner

John Crome was among the greatest English landscape painters of his day – but you’ve probably never heard of him

18 Aug 2021
The Fall of Phaeton Peter Paul Rubens. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The flamboyant painters who made a spectacle of themselves

Nicola Suthor’s study of the self-confident style known as ‘bravura’ is something of a virtuoso affair

17 Aug 2021
Circus Matinee (1938), Laura Knight.

It’s time Laura Knight was rescued from the ranks of the middlebrow

The British artist rejected modernism, but in life as in art she was hardly conservative

4 Aug 2021
W. W. Fowler, The Coleoptera of the British Islands, Vol. 5, 1891. China Blue is visible on the bottom left.

This colour chart of nature is completely mad – and utterly beguiling

An Enlightenment project to classify all the colours in the natural world is an extraordinary feat of ingenuity

3 Aug 2021
Statue of the nymph Amalthea and the goat that fed Jupiter, commissioned from Pierre Julien in 1787, inside the Queen’s Dairy at Rambouillet.

Grotto fabulous – Marie Antoinette’s decorative dairy was no rustic retreat

The dairy at Rambouillet was a masterpiece of neoclassical design

31 Jul 2021
Circular Colonnaded Atrium (c. 1730), attributed to Giuseppe Galli Bibiena. Promised gift of Jules Fisher to the Morgan Library & Museum, New York

The Italian dynasty that kept all of Europe thoroughly entertained

For more than a century, the Bibiena family created spectacular sets that delighted and deceived audiences

29 Jul 2021