Martin Gayford

‘The Life Room’, 1977–80, by John Wonnacott

The death of the life class

6 December 2014 9:00 am

‘Love of the human form’, writes the painter John Lessore, ‘must be the origin of that peculiar concept, the Life…

David Hockney at work in his studio, c.1967

David Hockney interview: ‘The avant-garde have lost their authority’

22 November 2014 9:00 am

‘I just stay here and do my thing,’ David Hockney told me soon after I arrived at his house and…

‘Gian Girolamo Albani’, c.1570, by Giovanni Battista Moroni

Without a model, Moroni could be stunningly dull. With one, he was peerless...

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Giovanni Battista Moroni, wrote Bernard Berenson, was ‘the only mere portrait painter that Italy has ever produced’. Indeed, Berenson continued,…

‘Before the Mirror’, 1913, by Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele at the Courtauld: a one-note samba of spindly limbs, nipples and pudenda

8 November 2014 9:00 am

One day, as a student — or so the story goes — Egon Schiele called on Gustav Klimt, a celebrated…

Alan Beeton, ‘Reposing’, 1929

The secret world of the artist's mannequin

1 November 2014 9:00 am

A 19th-century London artists’ supplier named Charles Roberson offered imitation human beings for sale or rent, with papier-mâché heads, soft…

Left: The Apostle Simon, 1661. Right: Portrait of a Lady with an Ostrich-Feather Fan, 1658–60

Rembrandt at the National Gallery: the greatest show on earth

25 October 2014 9:00 am

At the opening of Rembrandt: The Late Works at the National Gallery (until 18 January), I met a painter friend…

Portrait of a couple as Isaac and Rebecca, known as ‘The Jewish Bride’, c.1665, by Rembrandt

Why everyone loves Rembrandt

27 September 2014 8:00 am

Talking of Rembrandt’s ‘The Jewish Bride’ to a friend, Vincent van Gogh went — characteristically — over the top. ‘I…

‘Interior (Innenraum)’, 1981, by Anselm Kiefer

'I like vanished things': Anselm Kiefer on art, alchemy and his childhood

20 September 2014 9:00 am

At the entrance to Anselm Kiefer’s forthcoming exhibition at the Royal Academy visitors will encounter a typically paradoxical Kiefer object:…

‘La Guingette à Montmartre’ by Van Gogh (1886)

Exactly how much fun was it being an impoverished artist in Paris?

30 August 2014 9:00 am

What he really wanted, Picasso once remarked, was to live ‘like a pauper, but with plenty of money’. It sounds…

‘Lady Sarah Bunbury Sacrificing to the Graces’ by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Reynolds produced some of the finest portraits of the 18th century – and a few of the silliest

9 August 2014 9:00 am

On Monday 21 April 1760 Joshua Reynolds had a busy day. Through the morning and the afternoon he had a…

Wynton Marsalis: ‘The pressure of playing in public makes it all for real’

'They took me in like I was their son': Wynton Marsalis on jazz's great tradition

9 August 2014 9:00 am

At the end of his performance at the Barbican with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis made a…

Gauguin’s Pacific Islanders owe as much to travel literature as to direct observation.

From the Elgin marbles to Carl Andre's bricks: the mistakes that have made great art

2 August 2014 9:00 am

One day in 1959, the Minimalist sculptor Carl Andre was putting the finishing touches to an abstract sculpture in wood.…

Why the BBC will never match Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation

17 May 2014 9:00 am

One afternoon in 1942, Kenneth Clark and his wife Jane called on two young painters for tea. The artists were…

‘Portrait of a Bishop’, c.1541–2, by Jacopo Carrucci, known as Pontormo

The brilliant neurotics of the late Renaissance

17 May 2014 9:00 am

In many respects the average art-lover remains a Victorian, and the Florentine Renaissance is one area in which that is…

Edgar Degas - Dancer slipping on her shoe (1874)

Ladies' hats were his waterlillies - the obsessive brilliance of Edgar Degas

19 April 2014 9:00 am

Lucian Freud once said that ‘being able to draw well is the hardest thing — far harder than painting, as…

Passive and bound: ‘Agnus Dei’, c.1635–40, by Zurbarán

Francisco de Zurbarán had a Hollywood sense of drama

5 April 2014 9:00 am

It seems suitable that just round the corner from the Zurbarán exhibition at the Palais des Beaux Arts is the…

Friends, soulmates, rivals: the double life of Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud are likely to go down together in art history. If the link had not already…

The Sunflowers Are Mine, by Martin Bailey - review

5 October 2013 9:00 am

‘How could a man who has loved light and flowers so much and has rendered them so well, how could…