Arts feature

Don’t tell me model railways aren’t art. My little engine is a thing of spirit and beauty

14 December 2019 9:00 am

It’s a summer day at Llangenydd station, and the afternoon train is already late, not that anyone seems to mind.…

How capitalism killed sleep

7 December 2019 9:00 am

What can you make a joke about these days? All the old butts of humour are off limits. No wonder…

From cartoons to stage design: the genius of Osbert Lancaster

30 November 2019 9:00 am

‘Bigger,’ said Sir Osbert Lancaster when asked the difference between his work for the page and for the stage. ‘Definitely…

Meet the unrivalled Sun King of early music, William Christie

23 November 2019 9:00 am

It’s morning in the garden of William Christie, and he’s talking about home improvements. ‘I planted three pines up there…

What really happened at Troy?

16 November 2019 9:00 am

Heinrich Schliemann had always hoped he’d find Homer’s Troy. Although he had no archaeological background to speak of, he did…

Mick Hucknall on women, rejection and cultural appropriation

9 November 2019 9:00 am

What makes someone become a pop star? Sometimes, it’s true, pop stardom arrives by accident, and its recipient responds not…

‘The only place I can’t get my plays on is Britain’: Sir Peter Brook interviewed

2 November 2019 9:00 am

‘Everyone of us knows we deserve to be punished,’ says the frail old man before me in a hotel café.…

How did Richard Herring become the comedy podcast king?

26 October 2019 9:00 am

What does it mean to be a successful comic? Richard Herring isn’t sure. He’s been a ‘professional funnyman’ for nearly…

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…

‘Self-Portrait with Yellow Christ’, 1890–91, by Paul Gauguin

Pilferer, paedophile and true great: Gauguin Portraits at the National Gallery reviewed

12 October 2019 9:00 am

On 25 November 1895, Camille Pissarro wrote to his son Lucien. He described how he had bumped into his erstwhile…

A modern-day El Dorado: the Serra Pelada gold mine, Brazil, 1986

Sebastiao Salgado – master of monochrome, chronicler of the depths of human barbarity

5 October 2019 9:00 am

Occasionally, we encounter an image that seems so ludicrously out of kilter with the modern world that we can only…

The poetry of sewers

28 September 2019 9:00 am

‘Welcome,’ says our guide Stuart Bellehewe, with an imperious sweep of his arm, ‘to the cathedral of shit.’ Before us…

The untold story of Judy Garland

21 September 2019 9:00 am

Judy Garland is now a myth, a paradigm and a warning: don’t let your daughter on the stage! It’s the…

The many faces of William ‘Slasher’ Blake

14 September 2019 9:00 am

‘Imagination is my world.’ So wrote William Blake. His was a world of ‘historical inventions’. Nelson and Lucifer, Pitt and…

On photography, shrines and Maradona: Geoff Dyer’s Neapolitan pilgrimage

7 September 2019 9:00 am

At the Villa Pignatelli in Naples there is an exhibition by Elisa Sighicelli: photographs of bits and pieces of antiquity…

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…

Why a whole new generation of young Europeans are turning to old-school reggae

24 August 2019 9:00 am

Acamera sweeps across the verdant, shimmering beauty of Jamaica before descending on to a raffishly charming wooden house built into…

Frank Skinner

‘I’ll miss Brexit when it’s solved’: Frank Skinner interviewed

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Only one thing makes Frank Skinner nervous. ‘Water. Water scares me. I don’t get nervous on stage. Just in swimming…

A fabulous beauty with an amazing knack for physical clowning: Alice Marshall as woke guru Titania McGrath

Woke gurus, capitalist communists and a future film star: Edinburgh Fringe roundup

10 August 2019 9:00 am

The locals probably can’t bear the Edinburgh festival. Their solid, handsome streets are suddenly packed with needy thesps waving and…

‘Self-Portrait, Black Background’ (1915): an entire room in the RA exhibition is devoted to Schjerfbeck’s examination of herself

Why haven’t we heard of the extraordinary Finnish artist Helene Schjerfbeck?

3 August 2019 9:00 am

Last year I found myself giving a lecture in Helsinki. When I came to the end, I asked the audience…

Lines of beauty: Nancy Ekholm Burkert’s illustration for James and the Giant Peach

Before Quentin Blake, there was Nancy Ekholm Burkert – Dahl’s forgotten illustrator

27 July 2019 9:00 am

Bunnies were out. Beatrix Potter had the monopoly on rabbits, kittens, ducks and Mrs Tittlemouses. ‘I knew I had to…

‘I just kept getting turned down and turned down’: Catherine Foster

From the NHS to Bayreuth: Norman Lebrecht talks to midwife-turned-opera singer Catherine Foster

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Every summer for the past six years, Bayreuth has risen to its feet to acclaim an English Brünnhilde. Catherine Foster,…

He’s everywhere and nowhere: Jim Broadbent

‘It could be a disaster’: Jim Broadbent talks to Stuart Jeffries about his latest role

13 July 2019 9:00 am

‘I live completely anonymously,’ whispers Jim Broadbent down the phone from Lincolnshire. Nonsense, I counter. You’re one of the most…

The women who invented collage – long before Picasso and co.

6 July 2019 9:00 am

The art-history books will tell you that sometime around 1912, Picasso invented collage, or, actually, perhaps it was Braque. What…

Untitled #122, from the Fashion series, by Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman – selfie queen

29 June 2019 9:00 am

The selfie is, of course, a major, and to me mysterious, phenomenon of our age. The sheer indefatigability of selfie-takers,…