Arts feature

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,…

‘The Yucca Motel’, 1995, by Fred Sigman

Geoff Dyer on the poetry of motels

22 June 2019 9:00 am

It’s to be expected. You take photographs in order to document things — Paris in the case of Eugène Atget…

Why has British art had such a fascination with fire?

15 June 2019 9:00 am

‘Playing God is indeed playing with fire,’ observed Ronald Dworkin. ‘But that is what we mortals have done since Prometheus,…

The miracle of Longborough – the company that broke the mould for summer opera

8 June 2019 9:00 am

At Longborough Festival Opera, Richard Wagner is on the roof. Literally: his statue stands on top of the little pink…

Sergio Leone’s 1968 Once Upon a Time in the West

Quentin Tarantino on how spaghetti westerns shaped modern cinema

1 June 2019 9:00 am

The movie that made me consider filmmaking, the movie that showed me how a director does what he does, how…

Metamorphosis in progress: a mosaic of the giant Orion being turned into a constellation

The new treasures of Pompeii

25 May 2019 9:00 am

One afternoon in AD 79 an unusual cloud appeared above Vesuvius in the Bay of Naples. ‘It was raised high…

Postcard from the edge: The Rings of Saturn (Shingle Street — unused photograph), 1994

From haunted to haunter: the afterlife of W.G. Sebald

18 May 2019 9:00 am

East Anglia, the rump of the British Isles, has inspired a disproportionate number of writers: Robert Macfarlane, Daisy Johnson, Mark…

Bring me my arrow of desire: the original Italian film poster for Pasolini’s 1974 Il Fiore delle Mille e Una Notte

How film fell for caliphs and slave girls

11 May 2019 9:00 am

Most of Hollywood’s Arabian Nights fantasies are, of course, unadulterated tosh. The Middle East, wrote the American film critic William…

Lance encounters: a plate from The Book of Tournaments, Maximilian’s remarkable encyclopedia of jousting

The joy of jousting

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Emperor Maximilian I liked to say he invented the joust of the exploding shields. When a knight charged and his…

The eyes have it: ‘The Zebra’, 1763, by George Stubbs

What makes British art British?

27 April 2019 9:00 am

There’s no avoiding the Britishness of British art. It hits me every time I walk outside and see dappled trees…

Northern soul: Whitby Abbey was built on the site where the date of Easter was decided

Whitby Abbey is at the heart of Britain’s spiritual and literary history

20 April 2019 9:00 am

The 199 steps up to the ruins of Whitby Abbey are a pilgrimage; they always have been. And any good…

Dancer, choreographer, iconoclast: Merce Cunningham in 1962

Merce Cunningham’s work was magical, intangible, Einsteinian – revival is futile

13 April 2019 9:00 am

On Tuesday, thousands of miles apart, in three great cities, London, New York and Los Angeles, 75 dancers will dance…

Why were the Victorians so obsessed with the moon?

6 April 2019 9:00 am

In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a group of slightly ramshackle workmen decide to put on a play. The play…

Mary, Mary, quite contrary: Mary Quant and fellow-revolutionary Vidal Sassoon in 1964

My ringside seat on the Mary Quant revolution

30 March 2019 9:00 am

I think I probably qualify as the oldest fashion editor in the world, because in spite of my advanced age…

Life after death: Billie Holliday at the Hologram USA Theater

The rise and rise of the holographic tour

23 March 2019 9:00 am

In March 1968, Frank Zappa released an album called We’re Only in it for the Money. Presumably, then, Zappa —…

All the world’s a stage: Luwam Teklizgi (Rita) and Toby Jones (Peter) in BBC2’s forthcoming Don’t Forget the Driver

Toby Jones on the allure of the everyman – and the glamour of coach-driving

16 March 2019 9:00 am

Toby Jones shuffles into the café in Clapham where we are meeting. He’s wearing a duffle coat and a hat…

‘Afternoon at the Beach in Valencia’, 1904, by Joaquin Sorolla

Enjoy a blast of Spanish sun from Joaquin Sorolla

9 March 2019 9:00 am

Artists can be trained, but they are formed by their earliest impressions: a child of five may not be able…