Arts feature

Everything comes down to one man’s suffering: Geza Rohrig as Saul

Should the Final Solution ever be made into entertainment?

30 April 2016 9:00 am

Amid the abundant cinema of Nazi atrocity, Son of Saul is exemplary. Ian Thomson explains why

Going Dutch: Eelco Smits and Janni Goslinga of Toneelgroep Amsterdam in ‘Kings of War’

This year's must-see Shakespeare? Four hours of history in Dutch

23 April 2016 9:00 am

James Woodall talks to the Belgian director Ivo van Hove, who has brought a swathe of Shakespeare’s history plays to the stage in Dutch (four hours of it)

Dark magus: Don Cheadle as Miles Davis in ‘Miles Ahead’

‘Do black movies really not sell?’: Don Cheadle on Miles Ahead

16 April 2016 9:00 am

Don Cheadle talks to Jasper Rees about the long, hard road to bringing Miles Davis’s life to the big screen

Detail of mosaic depicting the martyrdom of Saints Castus and Cassius, 12th century, at the Cathedral of Monreale, Sicily

Norman Sicily was a multicultural paradise – but it didn’t last long

9 April 2016 9:00 am

There are lessons to be learned from the disintegration of this once majestic multicultural Norman kingdom, says Martin Gayford

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With the release of Oculus Rift, cinema will never be the same again

2 April 2016 9:00 am

With the release of Oculus Rift – virtual reality you can buy from a shop – cinema will never be the same again, says Peter Hoskin

Sandokan (Roberto Farías) in ‘The Club’, a masterpiece of ambiguity

A film that dares to suggest that paedophile priests may be capable of holiness

26 March 2016 9:00 am

Damian Thompson admires a Chilean film about paedophile priests which, unlike Spotlight, dares to explore social and psychological complexities

Irish Citizen Army soldiers on rooftops in Dublin before the Easter Rising of 1916

The holy relics of the Easter Rising: from hallowed flags to rebel biscuits

19 March 2016 9:00 am

The reverence for those involved in the Easter Rising is evident in an exhibition devoted to its centenary, says Harry Mount

Hands of God: Japanese conductor Masaaki Suzuki

Does the great Bach conductor Masaaki Suzuki think his audience will burn in hell?

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Damian Thompson talks to the great Bach conductor — and strict Calvinist — Masaaki Suzuki

Act of faith: Sybil Thorndike as Saint Joan, c.1924, in George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Saint Joan’

Why does drama always end up sneering at religion?

5 March 2016 9:00 am

 Theo Hobson explores the enduring appeal that religion has for dramatists

Through a lens darkly: from the series ‘New Brighton’ , ‘The Last Resort’, 1985

‘I enjoy the banal’: Stephen Bayley meets Martin Parr

27 February 2016 9:00 am

The photographer Martin Parr claims to like ordinary people, but are his pictures celebratory or mocking, asks Stephen Bayley

Scarlett Johansson as a mermaid? Bung her in

What is a serious film festival doing opening with Hail, Caesar!

20 February 2016 9:00 am

What is a serious film festival doing opening with Ethan and Joel Coens’ turkey Hail, Caesar!? James Woodall reports from Berlin

‘Portrait of a Young Man’ by Giorgione

Renaissance master? Rascal? Thief? In search of Giorgione

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Question-marks over attribution are at the heart of a forthcoming Giorgione exhibition. Martin Gayford sifts through the evidence

A fusion of ‘Fungus the Bogeyman’ and Dungeons and Dragons, Dashi Namdakov’s ‘She Guardian’ is a grotesque, inappropriate and embarrassing intrusion into London

What's that thing? Britain's worst public art

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Bad public art pollutes our townscapes. Stephen Bayley names and shames the worst offenders as he unveils the winner of The Spectator’s inaugural What’s That Thing? Award

About strange lands and people: ‘Midsummer Eve Bonfire’, after c.1917, by Nikolai Astrup

Nikolai Astrup - Norway’s other great painter

30 January 2016 9:00 am

The Norwegian artist Nikolai Astrup has been unjustly overshadowed by Edvard Munch. But that is about to change, says Claudia Massie

‘The Death of Sardanapalus’, 1846, by Eugène Delacroix

Eugene Delacroix foresaw the future of society not just art

23 January 2016 9:00 am

Delacroix’s frigid self-control concealed an emotional volcano. Martin Gayford explores the paradoxes that define the apostle of modernism

‘We can really slow down and live with the characters, understand what they’re thinking and feeling’: a scene from the BBC’s adaptation of ‘War and Peace’

‘It’s good to chop out the boring bits!’: Andrew Davies on adapting War and Peace

23 January 2016 9:00 am

What does Andrew Davies have to say to those who accuse him of gratuitous rumpy-pumpy in his adaptations of the classics? Stephen Smith finds out

‘If ever there was a Renaissance Man, John Dee was it’: from ‘The Order of the Inspirati’, 1659

John Dee thought he could talk to angels using medieval computer technology

16 January 2016 9:00 am

John Dee liked to talk to spirits but he was no loony witch, says Christopher Howse

Monumental change: the overthrow of the statue of Napoleon I, which was on top of the Vendôme Column. The painter Gustave Courbet is ninth from the right

A short history of statue-toppling

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Sculptural topplings provide an index of changing times, says Martin Gayford

'Lion Hunt', 1861, by Eugène Delacroix

Galleries are getting bigger - but is there enough good art to put in them?

2 January 2016 9:00 am

Martin Gayford recommends the exhibitions to see — and to avoid — over the coming year

‘The Birth of Christ’, 1896, by Paul Gauguin

Why would a dissolute rebel like Paul Gauguin paint a nativity?

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Martin Gayford investigates how this splendid Tahitian Madonna came about and why religion was ever-present in Gauguin's art

Cecily Parsley makes cowslip wine, illustration from‘Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes’ by Beatrix Potter

The art of Beatrix Potter

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Her best illustrations — limpid, ethereal, carefully observed — are masterly works of art in their own right, argues Matthew Dennison

Bryan Stanley Johnson with a first edition of ‘The Unfortunates’

Nottingham resuscitates a classic of the 60s literary avant-garde

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Peter Robins reports from Nottingham on a unique adaptation of a novel by the literary innovator B.S. Johnson

Two wheels good: Belgian racing cyclist Eddy Merckx on the track, 1970

The bicycle may have triumphed over the car but it’s far from perfect

28 November 2015 9:00 am

The bicycle may have triumphed over the car but it’s far from perfect, argues Stephen Bayley

‘May Day’, 1866, by Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron: the Leonardo of photography

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Ruskin dismissed Julia Margaret Cameron’s photographs as untrue. But, argues Martin Gayford, the same could be said of any picture

Judy Garland as Esther Smith in Meet Me in St Louis (1944)

How Technicolor conquered cinema

14 November 2015 9:00 am

Peter Hoskin celebrates Technicolor’s 100th birthday