Laura Gascoigne

The enduring allure of ‘er indoors

19 October 2019 9:00 am

‘She’s only a bird in a gilded cage, a beautiful sight to see. You may think she’s happy and free…

Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Spall as Mrs Lowry and her son

Why did Mrs Lowry hate her son’s paintings?

31 August 2019 9:00 am

‘I often wonder what artists are for nowadays, what with photography and a thousand and one processes by which you…

‘The Tea Party’, 1727, by Richard Collins

A brief history of tea

20 July 2019 9:00 am

It had to happen. Since almost everything became either ‘artisan’ or ‘curated’, conditions have been ripe for a curator of…

Why has British art had such a fascination with fire?

15 June 2019 9:00 am

‘Playing God is indeed playing with fire,’ observed Ronald Dworkin. ‘But that is what we mortals have done since Prometheus,…

The stuff of nightmares: ‘The Five Firemen’, 1938, by Grace Pailthorpe

British surrealism at its most remarkable and nightmarish

1 June 2019 9:00 am

Holding the International Surrealist Exhibition in London in 1936 was a coup for the British avant-garde, putting newbie surrealists such…

‘Scenes from the Passion: The Hawthorne Tree’, 2001, by George Shaw

The joy of George Shaw’s miserable paintings of a Coventry council estate

30 March 2019 9:00 am

All good narrative painting contains an element of allegory, but most artists don’t go looking for it on a Coventry…

Soft cell: ‘Hôtel du Pavot, Chambre 202’, 1970–73, by Dorothea Tanning

Wicked, humorous and high-spirited: Dorothea Tanning at Tate Modern reviewed

16 March 2019 9:00 am

Art movements come and go but surrealism, in one form or another, has always been with us. Centuries before Freud’s…

‘Afternoon at the Beach in Valencia’, 1904, by Joaquin Sorolla

Enjoy a blast of Spanish sun from Joaquin Sorolla

9 March 2019 9:00 am

Artists can be trained, but they are formed by their earliest impressions: a child of five may not be able…

Careful, Phyllida: the artist posing by her rickety sculptural wonderland at the RACareful, Phyllida: the artist posing by her rickety sculptural wonderland at the RA

Phyllida Barlow’s sculptural wonderland reigns supreme at the Royal Academy

2 March 2019 9:00 am

‘Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.’ If there’s an exception to prove Shaw’s rule, it’s Phyllida Barlow. The…

The first great English artist – the life and art of Nicholas Hilliard

23 February 2019 9:00 am

When Henry VIII died in 1547, he left a religiously divided country to a young iconoclast who erased a large…

Charles J. Tebbutt at Littleport, January 1893, unknown photographer

A short history of ice skating

15 December 2018 9:00 am

In landscape terms, the Fens don’t have much going for them. What you can say for them, though, is that…

‘The Laden Table’, c.1908, by Édouard Vuillard

A charming celebration of Vuillard’s muse – his mum: Barber Institute’s Maman reviewed

17 November 2018 9:00 am

Fin-de-siècle Paris was not just the art capital of the world, it was also the fashion capital. In 1901, 300,000…

‘Pit Brow Lasses’, 2015, by David Venables

Women’s toplessness caused less offence to Victorians than their trousers

20 October 2018 9:00 am

‘They did not look like women, or at least a stranger new to the district might easily have been misled…

Queen Victoria’s ‘State Barge’, 1866–7, by James Henry Pullen

The ‘idiot’ artists whose surreal visions flourished in Victorian asylums

7 July 2018 9:00 am

In G.F. Watts’s former sculpture studio in the Surrey village of Compton, a monstrous presence has interposed itself between the…

‘Office at the Mühling prisoner-of-war camp’, 1916, by Egon Schiele

Animals, tourists and raptors: the hazards of being a plein-air artist

12 May 2018 9:00 am

A conservator at Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum was recently astonished to find a tiny grasshopper stuck in the paint of…

‘Horizons II, (Allhallows towards London Gateway Port), England’, 2015, by Nadav Kander

The glorious history of Chatham Dockyard, as told through the eyes of artists

31 March 2018 9:00 am

‘Ding, Clash, Dong, BANG, Boom, Rattle, Clash, BANG, Clink, BANG, Dong, BANG, Clatter, BANG BANG BANG!’ is how Charles Dickens…

One of Anthony McCall’s celestial shafts of ‘solid light’ from a 2013 show with Mischa Kuball

The pioneering artist whose creations vanished before his eyes

24 February 2018 9:00 am

The impermanence of works of art is a worry for curators though not usually for artists, especially not at the…

Choppy waters: installation view of Tracey Emin ‘My Bed’/JMW Turner

Emotional rescue

28 October 2017 9:00 am

In the 1880s the young Max Klinger made a series of etchings detailing the surreal adventures of a woman’s glove…

Raw materials

14 October 2017 9:00 am

‘Art by its very essence is of the new… There is only one healthy diet for artistic creation: permanent revolution.’…

‘Sunrise’, 1938, by John Armstrong

Are the British too polite to be any good at surrealism?

22 November 2014 9:00 am

The Paris World’s Fair of 1937 was more than a testing ground for artistic innovation; it was a battleground for…

‘Self-portrait’, c.1513, by Leonardo da Vinci

Pizza, choc-ice and Leonardos – the treasures of Turin

6 September 2014 9:00 am

To most non-Italians Turin spells Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Fiat). But this subalpine city has a longer history than the…

‘The Goldfinch’, 1654, by Carel Fabritius

The home of Holland’s celebrity paintings gets a makeover

19 July 2014 9:00 am

If things had turned out differently for Brazil — I don’t mean in the World Cup — Recife might now…

‘Brigitte Bardot in Spoleto’, 1961, by Marcello Geppetti

When Raquel Welch danced on a table at Cinecittà

17 May 2014 9:00 am

Before there was Hello!, OK! and Closer, there was Oggi. Oggi was the magazine my Italian mother used to flick…

‘The Tea Table’, 1938, by Henri Le Sidaner

Henri Le Sidaner: the artist who fell between two schools

10 May 2014 9:00 am

Like other species, artists club together in movements not just for purposes of identification but for longevity. Individuals who don’t…

Who knew that Cézanne had a sense of humour?

1 March 2014 9:00 am

Tourists are attracted to queues, art lovers to quietude. So while the mass of Monet fans visiting Paris line up…