Art history

‘There are an awful lot of my paintings I don’t like,’ admitted Francis Bacon

11 May 2024 9:00 am

While waspishly dismissive of many of the 20th century’s greatest artists, Bacon was also critical of his own work, in conversation with David Sylvester

The golden age of Dutch art never ceases to amaze

21 October 2023 9:00 am

Benjamin Moser reminds us of how freely painters borrowed each other’s subjects – and of how many of the greatest, including Rembrandt, died in poverty

Albrecht Dürer’s genius for self-promotion

5 August 2023 9:00 am

Albrecht Dürer was an undoubted genius – and no one was more conscious of it than the artist himself, says Philip Hoare

The shock of the new in feminist art

15 July 2023 9:00 am

Laura Elkin looks at women artists from the past century onwards who boldly portray the female body from their own intimate experience

Evil geniuses

20 May 2023 9:00 am

Does knowledge of the wrongs committed by Caravaggio, Picasso, Roman Polanski and other ‘monsters’ condition our response to their art, wonders Claire Dederer

Women artists have been ignored for far too long

3 September 2022 9:00 am

At first glance, Clara Peeters’s ‘Still Life with a Vase of Flowers, Goblets and Shells’ (1612) appears to be just…

Why Tate Modern seems more like a playground than an art gallery

3 September 2022 9:00 am

This book covers the period 1878-2000, offering thought provoking commentary on some 120 years of experiments in being modern, and…

Alive with innovation: British art between the world wars

4 June 2022 9:00 am

When I mentioned the subject of this book to someone reasonably well-informed about 20th-century British art, the response was: ‘Isn’t…

The effortless magnetism of Marcel Duchamp

30 April 2022 9:00 am

One could compile a fat anthology of tributes to Marcel Duchamp’s charm – especially what one friend called the artist’s…

This radical Nativity is also one of the great whodunnits of art history

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Martin Gayford on a radical Nativity that is the subject of one of the great whodunnits of art history

A keepsake – and to-do list – of Europe’s greatest cathedrals

18 December 2021 9:00 am

In his new book on Europe’s cathedrals, Simon Jenkins begins with the claim that the greatest among them are our…

The life of René Magritte was even more surprising than his art

27 November 2021 9:00 am

René Magritte’s life, so outwardly respectable, was as full of surprises as his art, says Philip Hensher

Bright, beautiful and deceptively simple: the art of the linocut

30 October 2021 9:00 am

Charlotte Hobson describes the complicated relationship of two artists who championed simplicity

The first patrons of Modernism deserve much sympathy and respect

25 September 2021 9:00 am

If Modernism is a jungle, how do you navigate a path through its thickets? Some explorers — Peter Gay and…

Like burst balloons after a party: the last paintings of John Hoyland

28 August 2021 9:00 am

When the internationally acclaimed abstract painter John Hoyland died in 2011 at the age of 76, a large chunk of…

Why should art have ever been considered a male preserve?

1 May 2021 9:00 am

Sixty years ago, women were still excluded from the art history canon, says Laura Freeman

Apostle of modernism: Clive Bell’s reputation repaired

24 April 2021 9:00 am

Clive Bell is the perennial supporting character in the biographies of the Bloomsbury group. The husband of Vanessa Bell, brother-in-law…

A new blossoming: David Hockney paints Normandy

3 April 2021 9:00 am

In 2018 David Hockney went to Normandy to look at the Bayeux Tapestry, which he had not seen for more…

Ceramic art has been undervalued for too long

3 April 2021 9:00 am

The use of ‘Ceramic’ rather than ‘Ceramics’ in the title of this book indicates Paul Greenhalgh’s passionate belief that ‘ceramic…

Bright and beautiful: the year’s best art books reviewed

5 December 2020 9:00 am

When he was a student, the celebrated American modernist master Robert Rauschenberg once told me that his ‘greatest teacher’ —…

From light into darkness: the genius of Goya

14 November 2020 9:00 am

The great Spanish artist Francisco Goya was born in Zaragoza in 1746, the son of a gilder whose livelihood was…

Will our churches ever reopen?

7 November 2020 9:00 am

Will churches ever fully reopen?

Ivan Morozov: the Russian businessman with a passion for the avant-garde

24 October 2020 9:00 am

If you want to see the very best of Gauguin and Matisse, go east. That was the case in 1914…

From Hogarth to Mardi Gras: the best art podcasts

20 June 2020 9:00 am

If you study History of Art, people generally assume you’re a nice, conscientious, plummy-voiced girl. Sometimes, people are right. It…

Arthur Jeffress: bright young person of the post-war art scene

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

The name Arthur Jeffress may not conjure many associations for those not familiar with the London post-war art world, but…