Reviews

Carey Mulligan as Edith Pretty in ‘The Dig’. Courtesy Larry Horricks/Netflix

The Dig is a film to treasure

Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan shine in the story of the Sutton Hoo discovery

2 Feb 2021
Inferno (XXVI–XXVIII) (1586–88), Federico Zuccari.

Dante has stumped many an artist – but these delicate drawings are truly divine

Federico Zuccari’s illustrations of the Divine Comedy have seldom been shown. But the Uffizi has put them online – and Dante’s poem has never looked better

1 Feb 2021
The anti-Bob Ross? John Lurie in Painting with John.

John Lurie’s grumpy painting is a joy to behold

The crotchety cult legend is giving art lessons on TV – and it’s all surprisingly charming

29 Jan 2021
Portrait of Senator Giovanni Morelli, 1886, Franz von Lenbach. Accademia Carrara, Bergamo

The Italian statesman who redefined Renaissance art

Giovanni Morelli was a complex character, as attentive to the state of the Italian nation as he was to its art

28 Jan 2021
Modelling agency: Ray Harryhausen working on The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

The man who brought Hollywood’s fantasies to life

Without Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion models, science-fiction films wouldn’t look like they do today

27 Jan 2021

Fran Lebowitz loves New York more than you do

The city’s most devoted citizen explains urban life to Martin Scorsese

26 Jan 2021
Ralph Steadman goes gonzo? Photo: Rikard Österlund, www.rikard.co.uk

Ralph Steadman fully deserves his place in the history of art

In his skewering of authority figures, Ralph Steadman bears comparison with some of the great artists of modern times

25 Jan 2021
Untitled, New York, New York (1963), Gordon Parks.

Gordon Parks’s photographs bear powerful witness to Black lives in America

The photographer’s images of the struggle for civil rights are as relevant as when they were first made

22 Jan 2021

In 18th-century Europe, bizarre oranges and lemons were collector’s items

Weird and wonderful citrus fruit were once highly prized possessions – and one German fanatic made prints of the hundreds of varieties he laid his hands on

20 Jan 2021
Bank vault: mudlarker Jason Sandy on the foreshore of the River Thames.

The real secret London? It’s down in the river mud

The muddy foreshore of the Thames has been an unlikely treasure trove for amateur archaeologists

19 Jan 2021
Delftware plate (1661). The Bryan Collection, Lake Bluff, Illinois.

Period pieces – the fashion for putting dates on domestic objects

From commemorative wares to ordinary utensils, inscribing dates on household objects was once common practice

12 Jan 2021
Blessed Are Those Who Mourn (Breonna! Breonna!) (detail; 2020), Jennifer Packer. Private collection.

Jennifer Packer’s paintings pack a punch at the Serpentine

The artist’s powerful canvases are full of detail but never shy away from the bigger picture

11 Jan 2021

Trouble in paradise – Michael Armitage at the Haus der Kunst, reviewed

The artist’s complex depictions of Kenya present scenes of violence alongside moments of beauty

8 Jan 2021
Sultan’s Accession to the Throne Ceremony with Drone (detail; 2018), Halil Altindere.

Miniature painting enters the modern age

For the artists in this exhibition at the Pera Museum, a traditional form turns out to be ripe for reinvention

6 Jan 2021
Morning Glory (detail), from Some Japanese Flowers (c. 1894), Kazumasa Ogawa.

‘This is a wildflower meadow of an exhibition’ – a paean to plants at Dulwich Picture Gallery

A survey of 180 years of botanical photography proves that the art form continues to flourish

5 Jan 2021
Self-portrait in Red (detail; 1915), Anders Zorn. Zornmuseet, Mora

Scandi style – Anders Zorn’s visions of Sweden

The painter, who enjoyed a glittering international career, was as fascinated by high society as he was by Sweden’s rural life

4 Jan 2021
Rosalind Nashashibi at her exhibition ‘An Overflow of Passion and Sentiment’ in the National Gallery, London

Spanish pointers – Rosalind Nashashibi at the National Gallery

During a residency at the gallery, the artist has made works inspired by the drama of Spanish Golden Age painting

23 Dec 2020
I am The Last of my Kind (2019), Tracey Emin.

The agony and the ecstasy – Tracey Emin and Edvard Munch at the RA, reviewed

This triumphant double bill brims with emotion – from the pain of loss to the pleasures of beauty

22 Dec 2020
Cover of Follies: An Architectural Journey by Rory Fraser

Fantasy land – a guide to English follies

A personal guide to the playful structures has much in common with its whimsical subject

21 Dec 2020

Prince Albert’s passion for Raphael

When it came to cataloguing the Royal Collection’s holdings of the Old Master, only the latest technology would do for the Prince Consort

18 Dec 2020
The Holy Shroud (detail; c. 1540), attrib. here to Giulio Clovio. Galleria Sabauda, Turin

‘It has all the twists and turns of a classic detective story’ – unwrapping the Turin Shroud

A scholar’s 40-year quest to trace the origins of the world’s most famous length of linen makes for a gripping read

12 Dec 2020
Shaun Parkes as Frank Crichlow, Altheia Jones as Letitia Wright, Malachi Kirby as Darcus Howe and Rochenda Sandall as Barbara Beese in Mangrove (dir. Steve McQueen).

Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ films are a great feat of storytelling

By bringing recent Black British history to life, the film-maker has also conjured up a world full of joy and anger

11 Dec 2020
An Experiment on the Bird in an Air Pump (1768), Joseph Wright of Derby. National Gallery, London

Night fever – the dark energy of Joseph Wright of Derby

A biography of the artist known as the ‘painter of light’ explores his fascination with gloomy subjects

9 Dec 2020
‘Cirque’ from Jazz (1947), Henri Matisse. Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The bookish pursuits of Henri Matisse

Matisse was already in his 60s when he began to design books – but this new direction would inspire some of his most engaging works

7 Dec 2020