Reviews

What do English country houses tell us about the state of the nation?

Stephanie Barczewski’s book considers how stately homes have evolved according to the needs of their owners and wider changes in society

11 Jan 2024

Rocks of all ages: a guide to collecting marble, reviewed

Jan Christian Sepp’s guide to the visual and geological properties of marble will whet the appetite of the modern readers too

9 Jan 2024

How the Bauhaus exiles shaped a new urban landscape

The westward spread of modernist design between the wars was shaped by the migrant experience

3 Jan 2024

The fearless gaze of Agnès Varda

An exhibition at the Cinémathèque française doesn’t shy away from the film-maker’s political side

2 Jan 2024

Breath of fresh air – Gerhard Richter in the Alps

Three exhibitions in the Engadin Valley explore how the Swiss mountains have inspired some of the painter’s most playful work

21 Dec 2023

The changing face of beauty through the ages

The Wellcome Collection’s sprawling show has a lot in common with a busy department store and proves that the beauty industry can be an exhausting business

15 Dec 2023

The repeat performances of Robert Ryman

The artist painted countless variations of a white square, but repetitive strain was never really an issue

8 Dec 2023

The sacred heart of Notre-Dame

The cathedral’s glittering 19th-century reliquaries are among the treasures that have taken up temporary residence at the Louvre

The Mexican manuscript that reveals the wonders of the Aztec world

Created by a Spanish missionary and Indigenous authors and artists in the 16th century, the Florentine Codex is an intellectual feat – and now available to all

1 Dec 2023

French silver shines at the Getty

An open access publication celebrates glittering works from the 17th and 18th centuries

28 Nov 2023

The Venetian painters who opened up a world of new possibilities

The lessons learned by the city’s painters in the 1500s brought about radical new forms of expression

28 Nov 2023

Stage presence – the theatrical paintings of John Lavery

The artist could be a touch wooden at times, but a survey in Dublin shows that his best work is full of theatrical flair

28 Nov 2023

A continental breakfast worth tucking into twice

Jean-Étienne Liotard depicted the same scene first in pastel, then 23 years later in oils – and both versions can be savoured for a time at the National Gallery in London

24 Nov 2023

Nicolas de Staël’s art was unpredictable to the end

This long overdue retrospective shows that there was very little Nicolas de Staël coudn’t do as a painter

23 Nov 2023

The fragile idylls of Frank Walter

The Antiguan-born painter spent his final years living off the land, but his scenes of paradise are more complicated than they seem

22 Nov 2023

The sculptor who saw infinite possibilities in a line

After fleeing Nazi Germany for Venezuela, Gego made intricately-woven works from industrial materials

21 Nov 2023

How to do things with words – and make art at the same time

At the Henry Moore Institute, artists and poets are hanging on to language for all they’ve got, finding meaning in the spaces between writing and objects

17 Nov 2023

The cosmic fantasies of Remedios Varo

The Spanish-born Surrealist had a strong sense of order and a desire to remake the universe

15 Nov 2023

Hockney gets personal at the National Portrait Gallery

The artist has turned his attention to the same five sitters time and again across his 60-year career, to touching effect

14 Nov 2023

Lost in fantasy at the British Library

This impressive exhibition takes us through the very long history of a literary genre, but overlooks the part played by artists and illustrators

10 Nov 2023

Nicole Eisenman tries to make sense of America

The artist’s smutty and satirical work wittily exposes the harsh realities of the recent past

10 Nov 2023

Conservation targets – Hubert and Jan van Eyck, as we’ve never seen them before

New research and restoration offers fresh insights into the work of the Flemish masters

9 Nov 2023

The budding stars of Irish botanical art

Patricia Butler’s account of 300 years of botanical drawings from Ireland is both a history of art and a history of science

3 Nov 2023

How Finland eventually fell for Impressionism

The movement was slow to find favour in the north, but this gave Finnish artists time to take what they wanted from France

2 Nov 2023