Arts feature

‘Livia da Porto Thiene and her daughter Deidamia’, 1552, by Veronese

The National Gallery's Veronese is the exhibition of a lifetime

Arts feature

Paolo Veronese (1528–1588) is one of the great painters of the Venetian School, often joined in an unholy trinity with Titian and Tintoretto. But he was not Venetian, and only arrived in the city when he was well into his… Read more

‘Architectural Exercise in Colour and Form No. 6’, 1962, by Stephen Willats, on show at Victoria Miro

When Britain’s avant-garde weren’t so shouty

Arts feature

When the New York art dealer David Zwirner opened his London gallery in October 2012, observers expected him to make a statement of intent. Zwirner, who the magazine Art Review placed at number two in its 2013 Art Power 100… Read more

‘Portrait of a Lady, known as the “Bella Nani”’, about 1560–5, by Veronese, in the National Gallery’s current exhibition

The curator brain drain

Arts feature

In 1857, the National Gallery’s pioneering director Sir Charles Eastlake bought one of Veronese’s most sumptuous paintings, ‘The Family of Darius before Alexander’. The purchase was met with strident and very personal opposition from a Tory, Lord Elcho, in the… Read more


Why are Shakespeare’s women so feeble?

Arts feature

There’s a problem, as we all know, with female roles in the theatrical canon, and it reaches all the way back to the Bard. Shakespeare’s women lack the richness and variety of his male characters. Modern theatre practitioners have tried… Read more

Julian Mitchell with Rob Callender rehearsing ‘Another Country’

Julian Mitchell on Another Country: ‘I based it on my fury and anger and I wrote it fast and it flowed'

Arts feature

Today’s top public schools are plush country clubs with superb facilities, lovely food, first-class teaching, no fagging, no beating and, one imagines, minimal sexual interference from the staff. Most even have things called girls. While excellent at turning out world-class… Read more

An ambassador for his art: Ivan Vasiliev

Ivan Vasiliev and Roberto Bolle: interview with ballet royalty

Arts feature

In 1845, the theatre impresario Benjamin Lumley made history by inviting the four greatest ballerinas of the day to appeartogether on the stage of Her Majesty’s Theatre in London. It is fitting, therefore, that next week, 169 years later, Sergei… Read more

Paloma Faith: ‘I’m interested in perfect contradictions’

Paloma Faith interview: 'If you do something enough times, it becomes you'

Arts feature

Paloma Faith is an unusual pop star. Her flamboyant, retro appearance is upholstered by a deep-thinking mind and she articulates herself in an uncut East London accent. She hangs out with the author Hanif Kureishi and you can expect to… Read more

‘Poet’s Head — O Singing God’ by Mark Shields

'At last I wasn't worried about making pictures': an interview with Mark Shields

Arts feature

Mark Shields is a painter of considerable versatility and skill who is unable to rest on his laurels. Born in 1963 in Northern Ireland, where he still lives, he developed a powerful realist style that owes much to the Old… Read more

Stuart Skelton in the acclaimed ENO production of ‘Peter Grimes’

What now for ENO?

Arts feature

It has been a bracing start to the year at English National Opera. David Alden’s production of Peter Grimes, praised to the skies for the musical performance under Edward Gardner, returned to the Coliseum. Next up is Rigoletto (reviewed on… Read more

Marble portrait of Augustus, c.40 BC

What Emperor Augustus left us

Arts feature

The symbol engraved on Augustus’ signet ring was a sphinx. Julian the Apostate described him as ‘a chameleon’. He seized power declaring himself the saviour of the Roman Republic, but in the process abolished it. He ruled as an autocrat… Read more

Capital asset: Riga’s 2014 programme reaffirms its cosmopolitan credentials

Is it a good idea to splash money on European cities of culture?

Arts feature

As you enter the old KGB building, at the end of Freedom Street, the first thing that hits you is the cold. Outside it’s below freezing. Inside it’s even colder. The cells are in the basement, down a dank and… Read more

On the case:  Inspector Japp (Eric Carte), Poirot (Robert Powell) and Captain Hastings (Robin McCallum)

The 'detestable, bombastic, egocentric' detective — Hercule Poirot lives on

Arts feature

With all the enormous fuss over Sherlock on the telly, David Suchet’s recent retirement from Poirot should not be forgotten. What an incredible innings! The actor finally hung up his patent-leather shoes after a quarter-century of playing the sleuth in… Read more

Illustration by Alex Fine

Is Hollywood finally waking up to the talents of women? Nah

Arts feature

There is, we all know, only one anniversary that matters this year: 20 March 2014, 50 years since The Twilight Zone episode ‘The Masks’ was first beamed into America’s cathode-ray tubes. Bunting will be stretched from television screen to television… Read more

‘Life in the Alps (Triptych)’, 1917–19, by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

The best thing to come out of Davos

Arts feature

Another new year and once again the world’s leading CEOs and politicians descend on Davos, transforming this little Alpine town into the world’s most (self-) important talking shop. Yet there’s another side to Davos that’s far more interesting than dry… Read more

Unmissable: ‘The Horse, the Rider and the Clown’, 1943–4, by Matisse will go on show at Tate Modern in April

Art shows you simply mustn't miss in 2014

Arts feature

One of the great treats of the exhibiting year will undoubtedly be Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs (17 April to 7 September) at Tate Modern. The last phase of Matisse’s productive career was devoted to making extraordinarily vivid images from painted… Read more

‘Storm on Yarmouth Beach’, 1831, by Cotman

There are too few masterpieces in Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia

Arts feature

The mood is celebratory in East Anglia: the University (UEA) marks 50 years since it opened its doors in Norwich, and the Sainsbury Centre, its visual arts flagship, is back in business after refurbishment by Foster & Partners. The first… Read more

‘Virgin and Child’, 1958–9, by Patrick Reyntiens, St Mary’s, Hound Road, Netley Abbey

God in a stained glass window

Arts feature

Writing about Graham Sutherland in 1950, the critic Robert Melville observed: ‘When one looks at a picture one finds oneself over the frontier or one doesn’t. Criticism has no power of making converts to an experience which occurs without the… Read more


Interview David Chipperfield: It is better to be fond of architecture than amazed by it

Arts feature

For a man who’s about to celebrate his 60th birthday, Sir David Chipperfield looks remarkably fresh-faced. His pale blue eyes are bright and piercing, his thick white hair is cut in a fashionable short crop. Clad in a dark polo… Read more

Iain Glen and Richard McCabe in Turgenev’s ‘Fortune’s Fool’

How to think like Chekhov or Turgenev

Arts feature

I recently met an A-level English student who had never heard of Pontius Pilate. How is it possible to reach the age of 18 — to be applying to university to read English and European Literature — and never to… Read more

‘The Pond, Ditchling’ by Charles Knight - © Ditchling Museum Art + Craft

Ditchling Museum's guiding dream

Arts feature

The charming East Sussex village of Ditchling lies at the foot of the South Downs, its narrow streets lined with ancient houses and pubs. For much of the 20th century it was home to a community of artists and craftsmen,… Read more

Market dominance: ‘Dustheads’, 1982, by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Do you think this painting is worth $48.4 million?

Arts feature

Earlier this year a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, depicting two figures stoned on the hallucinogenic drug PCP, was offered for sale at Christie’s in New York. ‘Dustheads’ was given an estimated sales tag of $25–35 million. In the end, the… Read more


'You can't handle the truth!' — the greatest courtroom dramas of all time

Arts feature

Our legal system is pure theatre and always has been. Many barristers stand accused of being failed actors and vice versa. Judges love the dressing-up box and a chance to give their gavel a good bang. With murmuring galleries, shocking… Read more

Scary monsters: the demon from Jacques Tourneur’s 1957 film

How I learned to start screaming and love the horror movie

Arts feature

Buddy, you can keep your Christmases and your Easters, your Hanukkahs and your Eids. For someone like me, the annual celebration that really matters is the one that falls on 31 October — Halloween. This isn’t because I’m an inveterate… Read more

Malcolm Morley in his studio: ‘Two words characterise my art — diversity and fidelity’

Welcome home, Malcolm Morley

Arts feature

The Ashmolean Museum has taken the radical step of embracing contemporary art, and is currently hosting (until 30 March 2014) a mini-retrospective of Malcolm Morley’s work, curated by Sir Norman Rosenthal and borrowed entirely from the prestigious American-based Hall Art… Read more

‘From Here to Eternity’: Darius Campbell, Rebecca Thornhill, Siubhan Harrison and Robert Lonsdale

Tim Rice: How to get ahead in musicals

Arts feature

Like almost everyone else in the insane world of musical theatre, I don’t know how to create a hit. This hasn’t prevented me from contributing to, even originating, some. Most of these successes have come about by happy accident and… Read more


Ta-ra, Dame Edna — Barry Humphries bids goodbye to his chattier half

Arts feature

Dame Edna is hanging up her tiara. From now on the ‘failed comedian’, as Edna calls her alter ego Barry Humphries, will have to make do without her. Her current tour includes a run at the London Palladium but after… Read more

London Transport Museum’s exhibition ‘Poster Art 150 — London Underground’s Greatest Designs’ runs until 5 January 2014. On display in Covent Garden are 150 posters chosen from the museum’s archive, which includes Dora M. Batty’s ‘There is still the country’, 1926

The false paradise of Metroland

Arts feature

Gaily into Ruislip Gardens runs the red electric train… Near the end of the Metropolitan Line, where London dwindles into woods and meadows, stands a Tudor manor house, built within the moat of a motte-and-bailey castle. Now a quaint museum,… Read more

‘Goggle Head’, 1969, by Elisabeth Frink

Chris Ingram: from messenger boy to museum benefactor

Arts feature

Chris Ingram is a silver-haired, incisive man, with an air of quiet authority and decided opinions about the art he so passionately collects. A media entrepreneur who started work at 16 as a messenger boy in an advertising agency, Ingram… Read more