Martin Gayford

Welcome to Japan’s best kept cultural secret: an art island with an underground museum

23 May 2015 9:00 am

In his introductory remarks to the Afro–Eurasian Eclipse, one of his later suites for jazz orchestra, Duke Ellington remarked —…

One of Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s Scots pines in the French Pavilion

Martin Gayford finds a few nice paintings amid the dead trees, old clothes and agitprop of the Venice Biennale

16 May 2015 9:00 am

Martin Gayford finds a few nice paintings amid the dead trees, old clothes and agitprop of the Venice Biennale

‘Claros’ (woodcut), 2015, by Gillian Ayres

Modernism lite? Modigliani at the Estorick Collection reviewed

9 May 2015 9:00 am

The British painter Nina Hamnett recalled that Modigliani had a very large, very untidy studio. Dangling from the end of…

‘Wrestlers’, 1914, by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska at Kettle's Yard reviewed: he's got rhythm

2 May 2015 9:00 am

One evening before the first world war, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, fired by drink, tried out such then-fashionable dances as the cakewalk…

‘Observer’s Post’, 1939, by Eric Ravilious

Irresistible: Ravilious at the Dulwich Picture Gallery reviewed

11 April 2015 9:00 am

The most unusual picture in the exhibition of work by Eric Ravilious at Dulwich Picture Gallery, in terms of subject-matter…

Detail from the great and strange Altar of the Holy Blood by Tilman Riemenschneider at the Jakobskirche, Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Is this the greatest sculpted version of the Easter story? It's certainly the strangest

4 April 2015 9:00 am

In April 1501, about the time Michelangelo was returning from Rome to Florence to compete for the commission to carve…

Reimaging the lost masterpieces of antiquity

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Martin Gayford visits two new surveys of Greek and Roman sculpture at the British Museum and Palazzo Strozzi. Reimagining what’s lost is as much of an inspiration as what remains

Richard Diebenkorn at the Royal Academy reviewed: among the best visual evocations of LA there are

21 March 2015 9:00 am

It is true that, like wine, certain artists don’t travel. Richard Diebenkorn, subject of the spring exhibition in the Royal…

Left: ‘Dream of a good witch’, c.1819–23, by Goya Right: ‘Bajan niñendo (They descend quarrelling)’, c.1819–23, by Goya

Flying witches, mad old men, cannibals: what was going on in Goya’s head?

14 March 2015 9:00 am

It is not impossible to create good art that makes a political point, just highly unusual. Goya’s ‘Third of May’…

Inventing Impressionism at the National Gallery reviewed: a mixed bag of sometimes magnificent paintings

7 March 2015 9:00 am

When it was suggested that a huge exhibition of Impressionist paintings should be held in London, Claude Monet had his…

‘The Great Elm at Lacock’, 1843–45, by William Henry Fox Talbot

Sculpture Victorious at Tate Britain reviewed: entertainingly barmy

28 February 2015 9:00 am

In the centre of the new exhibition Sculpture Victorious at Tate Britain there is a huge white elephant. The beast…

‘Group with Parasols’, c.1904, by John Singer Sargent

Sargent, National Portrait Gallery, review: he was so good he should have been better

21 February 2015 9:00 am

The artist Malcolm Morley once fantasised about a magazine that would be devoted to the practice of painting just as…

Marlene Dumas at Tate Modern reviewed: 'remarkable'

7 February 2015 9:00 am

‘Whoever wishes to devote himself to painting,’ Henri Matisse once advised, ‘should begin by cutting out his own tongue.’ Marlene…

Weight watching: ‘Three Bathers’, c.1875, by Paul Cézanne

Rubens and His Legacy at the Royal Academy reviewed: his imitators fall short of their master miserably

31 January 2015 9:00 am

The main spring offering at the Royal Academy, Rubens and His Legacy: Van Dyck to Cézanne, teaches two useful lessons.…

‘Pan and Syrinx’, 1617, by Peter Paul Rubens

How will the British public take to Rubens’s fatties?

24 January 2015 9:00 am

Are Rubens’s figures too fat for the British to appreciate them? Martin Gayford investigates

Geometry in the 20th and 21st centuries was adventurous - and apocalyptic

17 January 2015 9:00 am

Almost a decade ago, David Cameron informed Tony Blair, unkindly but accurately, ‘You were the future once.’ A visitor to…

‘Woman at Her Toilette’, 1875/80, by Berthe Morisot

2015 in exhibitions - painting still rules

3 January 2015 9:00 am

The art on show over the coming year demonstrates that we still live in an age of mighty painters, says Martin Gayford

‘The Census at Bethlehem’, 1566, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Climate change, Bruegel-style

13 December 2014 9:00 am

The world depicted by the Flemish master is not so different from our own, says 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

David Hockney talks to Martin Gayford about 60 years of ignoring art fashion

‘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

Martin Gayford sees Rembrandt’s late works at the National Gallery – is this the greatest show on earth?

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…