Painting

Choppy waters: installation view of Tracey Emin ‘My Bed’/JMW Turner

Emotional rescue

28 October 2017 9:00 am

In the 1880s the young Max Klinger made a series of etchings detailing the surreal adventures of a woman’s glove…

Raw materials

14 October 2017 9:00 am

‘Art by its very essence is of the new… There is only one healthy diet for artistic creation: permanent revolution.’…

‘Pastry Cook of Cagnes’, 1922, by Chaïm Soutine

Cabbages and kings

14 October 2017 9:00 am

The first pastry cook Chaïm Soutine painted came out like a collapsed soufflé. The sitter for ‘The Pastry Cook’ (c.1919)…

I spy

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Where was Degas standing as he sketched his ‘Laundresses’ (c.1882–4)? Did he watch the two women from behind sheets hanging…

‘The Japanese’ by Hans Makart, 1870–75

Fickle fortune

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Here’s an intriguing thought experiment: could Damien Hirst disappear? By that I mean not the 52-year-old artist himself — that…

‘The Angel of Mercy’, c.1746, by Joseph Highmore

Mothers’ ruin

23 September 2017 9:00 am

At the heart of Basic Instincts, the new exhibition at the Foundling Museum in London, is an extraordinarily powerful painting…

Moving pictures: ‘Achaean’, 1981, by Bridget Riley

Snap, crackle and op

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Stand in front of ‘Fall’, a painting by Bridget Riley from 1963, and the world begins to quiver and dissolve.…

‘Mum On The Couch’, 2017, by Gary Hume

What lies beneath

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Last year, Gary Hume made a painting of himself paddling. At a casual glance, or even a longer look, it…

‘Spray’, by Harold Williamson (1939)

Nothing is quite what it seems

19 August 2017 9:00 am

One day, somebody will stage an exhibition of artists taught at the Slade by the formidable Henry Tonks, who considered…

Matisse’s ‘Still Life with Shell’ (1940) with his beloved chocolate pot, top left

Object lesson

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Why did Henri Matisse not play chess? It’s a question, perhaps, that few have ever pondered. Yet the great artist…

A picture of pure energy: Watts’s ‘The Sower of Systems’, 1902

Maximum wattage

29 July 2017 9:00 am

On his deathbed in 1904, George Frederic Watts saw a extraordinary spectacle. He witnessed the universe coming into being: the…

Diary

15 July 2017 9:00 am

It has been an unqualified delight, even if it is mildly absurd: I have been chairing the judges for this…

‘Landscape Near Kingston, Jamaica’, 1950, by John Minton

A tale of two artists

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Wherever one looked in the arts scene of the 1940s and ’50s, one was likely to encounter the tragicomic figure…

‘Tennis’, 1930, by Eric Ravilious

Match made in heaven

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Tennis is best played with a wooden racket on a shady lawn somewhere close to Dorking. There is no need…

‘Statue (Double Check by Seward Johnson), New York, 11 September 2001’, 2001, by Jeff Mermelstein

Repo women

6 July 2017 1:00 pm

Aren’t you getting a little sick of the white cube? I am. I realised how sick last week after blundering…

‘Oh god, ma tutto occupato’ (Ach herrje, ma tutto occupato), 2016, by Georg Baselitz

As he approaches 80, the German master Georg Baselitz contemplates the end

21 May 2016 9:00 am

‘In many ways,’ Georg Baselitz muses, ‘I behaved against the grain of the times I grew up in.’ The era…

Cartoon for St Luke, Chichester Cathedral Tapestry, 1965, by John Piper

The shimmering, restless, groovy fabrics of John Piper

21 May 2016 9:00 am

A story John Piper liked to tell — and the one most told about him — is of a morning…

Satirical diptych, 1520–1530, anonymous Flemish artist

This Parisian exhibition has rewritten the story of art

14 May 2016 9:00 am

Why do we put one work of art beside another? For the most part museums and galleries tend to stick…

‘Cassava with White Peacock Butterfly and young Golden Tegu’, 1702–3, by Maria Merian

The 17th century painter who hacked her way through Suriname in search of insects

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Maria Sibylla Merian was a game old bird of entrepreneurial bent, with an overwhelming obsession with insects. Born in Frankfurt…

How a Liberal MP's inability to draw led him to invent photography

30 April 2016 9:00 am

William Henry Fox Talbot had many accomplishments. He was Liberal MP for Chippenham; at Cambridge he won a prize for…

‘Macbeth, Banquo and Witches on the Heath’, 1794, by Henry Fuseli

Why do some museums insist on playing piped music into exhibitions?

9 April 2016 9:00 am

There was a genteel brouhaha last year — leaders in the Times, letters to the Telegraph, tutting in the galleries…

Wooden model of a brewing and baking workshop, Egypt, c.2000 bc, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Ancient Egypt’s obsession with death was in fact a preoccupation with life

2 April 2016 9:00 am

The Fitzwilliam Museum is marking its bicentenary with an exhibition that takes its title from Agatha Christie: Death on the…

RA’s Giorgione show is so rich it’s worth returning to several times

19 March 2016 9:00 am

Walter Sickert was once shown a room full of paintings by a proud collector, who had purchased them on the…

Is this female Swedish painter a major rediscovery - or a minor footnote?

12 March 2016 9:00 am

In 1896, a group of five young Swedish women artists began to meet regularly in order to access mystical zones…

‘Venus’, 1490s, by Sandro Botticelli

V&A's Botticelli Reimagined has too many desperate pretenders

5 March 2016 9:00 am

When Tom Birkin, hero of J.L. Carr’s novel A Month in the Country, wakes from sleeping in the sun, it…