Art

Rodin’s ‘Gates of Hell’: more than 300 figures, including a panther-like Eve

Why Auguste Rodin preferred to sculpt women who couldn’t sit still

18 February 2017 9:00 am

The girl who posed for Auguste Rodin’s figure of Eve on the ‘Gates of Hell’ was, the sculptor said, a…

Nothing happens, but everything changes in Sara Baume’s new novel

18 February 2017 9:00 am

This is an extraordinarily compelling novel for one in which nothing really happens but everything changes. Sara Baume’s narrator is…

Siri Hustvedt’s thoughts on art, science and the human condition

21 January 2017 9:00 am

This past autumn has felt more uncomfortable than usual to be a woman looking at men looking at women. From…

What makes a great art room in school? It’s all about the mess

10 September 2016 9:00 am

School art studios should be all about the creative atmosphere – and the mess, says Laura Freeman

My newest crush is Morgan Lake – the perfect combination of grace, youth and beauty

27 August 2016 9:00 am

OK sports fans, the Games are over, Uncle Sam and Britain hit pay dirt, and the prettiest girl of the…

A collector of genius: Peggy Guggenheim

Peggy Guggenheim, collector of genius

20 August 2016 9:00 am

She had come a very long way from the shtetl, but Marguerite ‘Peggy’ Guggenheim was still the poor relation of…

Dear Mary: On being an unappreciated patron of the arts

23 July 2016 9:00 am

Q. Since my husband began to appear in the Rich List he has become much more popular with ‘artists’ in…

Bologna’s core: grand in the renaissance manner

Bologna with Gilbert & George

9 July 2016 9:00 am

Sooner or later, no matter where you are travelling on Italian railways, you are likely to pass through Bologna Centrale.…

The lifts are lovely: Tate Modern’s extension reviewed

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Tate Modern, badly overcrowded, has built itself a £260 million extension to spread everyone about the place more. This means…

The RA’s new restaurant prioritises its art over its customers

28 May 2016 9:00 am

The Keeper’s House sits in the basement of Burlington House, a restaurant in disguise. It is quite different from the…

‘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…

Peter Phillips bids farewell to his music column after 33 years

7 May 2016 9:00 am

This, my 479th, is to be my last contribution as a regular columnist to The Spectator. I have written here…

Strange fruit: Bosch mixes scripture and folklore

Want your children to love art? Start with Hieronymus Bosch

23 April 2016 9:00 am

If you hope to inspire an appreciation of Renaissance art in your children, look to Hieronymus Bosch. Ideally, your children…

Hate tax havens? Try imagining a world without them

9 April 2016 9:00 am

However wicked tax evasion is and however distasteful some tax avoidance may be, people should imagine a world without tax…

Pharmacy 2 makes me like Damien Hirst

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Pharmacy 2 is the reanimated child of Damien Hirst; it lives inside the Newport Street Gallery in a forsaken patch of…

‘The upper part of the cascade at Hafod’ by John ‘Warwick’ Smith, 1793

How to view the view

20 February 2016 9:00 am

It’s not all picnics and cowslips. You need sense as well as sensibility to appreciate a landscape, says Mary Keen

‘The Evening’ by Caspar David Friedrich

At the going down of the sun

6 February 2016 9:00 am

One of the epigraphs to Peter Davidson’s nocturne on Europe’s arts of twilight is from Hegel: ‘The owl of Minerva…

Samuel Palmer’s ‘The Harvest Moon’: ‘the bowed forms of peasants are shadows of divinity’

Samuel Palmer: from long-haired mystic to High Church Tory

21 November 2015 9:00 am

In his youth, Samuel Palmer (1805–1881) painted like a Romantic poet. The moonlit field of ‘The Harvest Moon’ (1831–32) glows…

From top left: Lucian Freud, Rudolf Bing, Stefan Zweig, Walter Gropius, Rudolf Laban, Max Born, Kurt Schwitters, Friedrich Hayek, Fritz Busch, Frank Auerbach, Emeric Pressburger, Oskar Kokoschka

German refugees transformed British cultural life - but at a price

3 October 2015 9:00 am

German-speaking refugees dragged British culture into the 20th century. But that didn’t go down well in Stepney or Stevenage, says William Cook

Rybolovlev with the Picassos

Hurrah! Demi Moore is Pugs club’s new Mistress of Chamber

3 October 2015 9:00 am

If cheating is the cancer of sport, losing has to be its halitosis. I stunk out the joint in Amsterdam…

Why we should embrace being average

3 October 2015 8:00 am

Maybe what we love about radio is the way that most of its programming allows us the luxury of staying…

With rain threatening, Jane Bennet departs for Netherfield — with her mother’s approval. Illustration by Hugh Thomson for Pride and Prejudice (1894)

Rain, shine and the human imagination — from Adam and Eve to David Hockney

12 September 2015 9:00 am

‘Pray don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr Worthing,’ pleads Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest. ‘Whenever people…

Sympathy for the devils: Reggie and Ronnie Kray in northeast London, 1964

I was Reggie Kray's penpal

12 September 2015 9:00 am

Harry Mount once idolised the Kray twins. He’s since seen the error of his ways

Francis Bacon in Paris in 1984

Bacon on the side: the great painter’s drinking partner tells all

5 September 2015 9:00 am

When Michael Peppiatt met Francis Bacon in 1963 to interview him for a student magazine, the artist was already well-established,…

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…