Book review – art history

Left: ‘Blackbere’ from Helmingham Herbal and Bestiary, c. 1500. Right: Common Hoopoe, c. 1789, by William Lewis

The British countryside in prints and paper-cuts

26 July 2014 9:00 am

The Yale Center for British Art holds the largest collection of British art outside the UK. An impressive collection it…

‘A Sounding Line’ (2006–7). Detail of de Waal’s 66 porcelain vessels in white and celadon glazes, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

How good an artist is Edmund de Waal?

26 July 2014 9:00 am

For Edmund de Waal a ceramic pot has a ‘real life’ that goes beyond functionalism.This handsome book (designed by Atelier…

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…

Detail of St Christopher, 15th century, Church of St Botolph, Slapton, Northants

Wonders written on the wall

19 April 2014 9:00 am

‘Take away, utterly extinct and destroy all shrines … pictures, paintings and all other monuments of feigned miracles, pilgrimages, idolatry…

'Marcia painting her self-portrait’; detail from Boccaccio’s On Famous Women (1402)

The selfie from Akhenaten to Tracey Emin

22 March 2014 9:00 am

If ever there was a time to write a book about self-portraits, this must be it.  ‘Past interest in the…

A life of Michelangelo on the grand scale

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Early on in this dazzling new biography, Martin Gayford compares Michelangelo, with his daunting artistic tasks, to Hercules, the subject…