Martin Gayford

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…

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

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

20 September 2014 9:00 am

Martin Gayford talks to a surprisingly jolly Anselm Kiefer about art and metamorphosis

‘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

Martin Gayford talks to Wynton Marsalis about the rigours of playing jazz

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

Some of art’s most important steps forward began simply as misconceptions

Why the BBC will never match Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation

17 May 2014 9:00 am

No modern critic would dare match Kenneth Clark’s fearless way with sweeping statements

‘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…