Arts feature

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,…

‘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…