paintings

Are there ways in which virtual exhibitions are better than real ones?

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Six months ago I published a book about travelling to look at works of art. One such journey involved a…

Every bit as well observed as Rembrandt – and often funnier: Nicolaes Maes reviewed

7 March 2020 9:00 am

Nicolaes Maes (1634–93) relished the simple moments of daily life during the Dutch Golden Age. A woman peeling parsnips over…

The extraordinary paintings of Craigie Aitchison

23 November 2019 9:00 am

One of the most extraordinary paintings in the exhibition of work by Craigie Aitchison at Piano Nobile (96–129 Portland Road,…

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,…

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,…

‘Portrait of a Young Man with a Book’, c.1524–6, by Lorenzo Lotto

Lorenzo Lotto’s 16th century portraits come startlingly close to photography

17 November 2018 9:00 am

You can, perhaps, glimpse Lorenzo Lotto himself in the National Gallery’s marvellous exhibition, Lorenzo Lotto: Portraits. At the base of…

‘Pit Brow Lasses’, 2015, by David Venables

Women’s toplessness caused less offence to Victorians than their trousers

20 October 2018 9:00 am

‘They did not look like women, or at least a stranger new to the district might easily have been misled…

‘The Battle of the Pyramids’, 1798–9, by François-Louis-Joseph Watteau

The best and most extensive exhibition on Napoleon in three decades

16 June 2018 9:00 am

The Musée de l’Armée at Les Invalides in Paris has a new exhibition that I believe to be the best…

‘Office at the Mühling prisoner-of-war camp’, 1916, by Egon Schiele

Animals, tourists and raptors: the hazards of being a plein-air artist

12 May 2018 9:00 am

A conservator at Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum was recently astonished to find a tiny grasshopper stuck in the paint of…

Ravilious in Essex: ‘Two Women in the Garden’, watercolour, 1932

The only art is Essex

29 August 2015 9:00 am

When I went to visit Edward Bawden he vigorously denied that there were any modern painters in Essex. That may…

Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’

Woman in Gold review: even Helen Mirren is weighed down by the script’s banalities

11 April 2015 9:00 am

Woman in Gold feels rather like a Jewish version of Philomena as this too is about an older woman seeking…

Left: The Apostle Simon, 1661. Right: Portrait of a Lady with an Ostrich-Feather Fan, 1658–60

Rembrandt at the National Gallery: the greatest show on earth

25 October 2014 9:00 am

Martin Gayford sees Rembrandt’s late works at the National Gallery – is this the greatest show on earth?

‘Water-meadows near Salisbury’, 1829/30, by John Constable

Curator-driven ambitions mar this Constable show at the V&A

4 October 2014 9:00 am

The V&A has an unparalleled collection of hundreds of works by John Constable (1776–1837), but hardly anyone seems to know…