Martin Gayford

‘Massive blue bowl’, 1991, by Gordon Baldwin

Why it’s bad for potters to think of themselves as artists

21 April 2018 9:00 am

A friend of mine once owned a vase by the potter Hans Coper — until, that is, her teenage son…

With Leonardo, improbable speculations are never-ending, The Da Vinci Code enthusiasts see the figure of St John (on the right in this detail of ‘The Last Supper’) as Mary Magdalene, hiding in plain sight

The codes and codswallop surrounding Leonardo da Vinci

14 April 2018 9:00 am

‘If you look at walls soiled with a variety of stains or at stones with variegated patterns,’ Leonardo da Vinci…

The Church at Vétheuil, 1878

The public are quite right to love Monet

14 April 2018 9:00 am

Think of the work of Claude Monet and water lilies come to mind, so do reflections in rippling rivers, and…

Moonlit Ravine, early 1970s, by John Craxton

Once seen as the coming force in British painting, John Craxton deserves another look

7 April 2018 9:00 am

In late April 1992, I was in Crete, interviewing the painter John Craxton. It was the week that Francis Bacon…

‘Majesty’, 2006, by Tacita Dean

Intelligent, poetic and profound: Tacita Dean at the National and National Portrait galleries

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Andy Warhol would probably have been surprised to learn that his 1964 film ‘Empire’ had given rise to an entire…

‘The Appearance’, 2018, by Eric Fischl

Surreal jokes and juicy strokes: Martin Gayford on the power of paint

17 March 2018 9:00 am

René Magritte was fond of jokes. There are several in René Magritte (Or: The Rule of Metaphor), a small but…

‘Melanie and Me Swimming’, 1978–9, by Michael Andrews

Magnificent paintings – oddly curated: All Too Human reviewed

10 March 2018 9:00 am

In the mid-1940s, Frank Auerbach remarked, the arbiters of taste had decided what was going to happen in British art:…

Domestic harmony: Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, ‘a work of art in itself’

Lemons and pebbles are as important to Kettle’s Yard as the art

10 February 2018 9:00 am

When I first visited Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, I was shown around by Jim Ede, its founder and creator. This wasn’t…

‘Amazon’, 2016, by Andreas Gursky

Gursky’s subject is humanity: prosaic, mundane, extremely messy His colossal, panoramic pictures are brilliant and lowering at the same time

3 February 2018 9:00 am

Walking around the Andreas Gursky exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, I struggled to recall what these huge photographs reminded me…

‘Anne Cresacre’, c.1527, by Hans Holbein the Younger

A sumptuous feast of an exhibition: Charles I at the Royal Academy reviewed

27 January 2018 9:00 am

Peter Paul Rubens thought highly of Charles I’s art collection. ‘When it comes to fine pictures by the hands of…

‘Apollo and Daphne’, early 1620s, by Bernini

Turning marble into cushions and stone into flesh: the magic of Gian Lorenzo Bernini

13 January 2018 9:00 am

Seventeenth-century Roman art at its fullblown, operatic peak often proves too rich for puritanical northern tastes. And no artist was…

There’s something about Mary: ‘Madonna of the Rosary’, 1539, by Lorenzo Lotto

The time has come for one of the most fascinating and idiosyncratic Renaissance artists

16 December 2017 9:00 am

Lorenzo Lotto’s portraits — nervous, intense and enigmatic — are among the most memorable to be painted in 16th-century Italy,…

‘Beatrice Hastings’, 1915, by Amedeo Modigliani

After you’ve seen a few, you start to think, ‘Oh no, not another!’: Modigliani at Tate reviewed

2 December 2017 9:00 am

‘It’s odd,’ Picasso once mused, ‘but you never see Modigliani drunk anywhere but at the corners of the boulevard Montmartre…

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, photographed by Annie Leibovitz (From Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005–2016)

Sex and the city: the best art books of the year

25 November 2017 9:00 am

‘I should like,’ Edgar Degas once remarked, ‘to be famous and unknown.’ On the whole, he managed to achieve this.…

‘Self-Portrait’, 1880–1, by Paul Cézanne

The most impressive array of work to be seen in London in years: Cézanne’s Portraits reviewed

11 November 2017 9:00 am

The critic and painter Adrian Stokes once remarked on how fortunate Cézanne had been to be bald, ‘considering the wonderful…

‘Portrait of a Lady (La Schiavona)’, c.1510-12, by Titian

The advantages of turning down the colour knob: Monochrome reviewed

4 November 2017 9:00 am

Leonardo da Vinci thought sculpting a messy business. The sculptor, he pointed out, has to bang away with a hammer,…

‘The First Days of Spring’, 1929, by Salvador Dalí

It’s the thought that counts

21 October 2017 9:00 am

During a panel discussion in 1949, Frank Lloyd Wright made an undiplomatic comment about Marcel Duchamp’s celebrated picture of 1912,…

‘The Japanese’ by Hans Makart, 1870–75

Fickle fortune

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Here’s an intriguing thought experiment: could Damien Hirst disappear? By that I mean not the 52-year-old artist himself — that…

‘Untitled (Clear Torso)’, 1993, by Rachel Whiteread

Space odyssey

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Rachel Whiteread is an indefatigable explorer of internal space. By turning humble items such as hot-water bottles and sinks inside…

Still life: ‘A Kiss’, 1891, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Silent films

9 September 2017 9:00 am

On 15 September 1888 Vincent van Gogh was intrigued to read an account of an up-to-date artist’s house in the…

Moving pictures: ‘Achaean’, 1981, by Bridget Riley

Snap, crackle and op

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Stand in front of ‘Fall’, a painting by Bridget Riley from 1963, and the world begins to quiver and dissolve.…

‘Mum On The Couch’, 2017, by Gary Hume

What lies beneath

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Last year, Gary Hume made a painting of himself paddling. At a casual glance, or even a longer look, it…

Matisse’s ‘Still Life with Shell’ (1940) with his beloved chocolate pot, top left

Object lesson

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Why did Henri Matisse not play chess? It’s a question, perhaps, that few have ever pondered. Yet the great artist…

Animal magnetism

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Picasso had a thing for bulls. Martin Gayford talks to the artist’s friend and biographer. Sir John Richardson about a lifelong obsession

‘Portrait of Lee Miller as l’Arlésienne’, 1937, by Pablo Picasso

Face time

22 October 2016 9:00 am

As a chat-up line it was at least unusual. On 8 January 1927, a 46-year-old man approached a young woman…