I have always been sceptical of those passages in the ‘Ancestry’ chapters of biographies that run something like this: Through his veins coursed the rebellious blood of the Vavasours, blended with a more temperate strain from the Mudge family of Basingstoke.
Angela Thirlwell’s previous book was a double biography of William Rossetti (brother to the more famous Dante Gabriel) and his wife Lucy (daughter of the more famous Ford Madox Brown).
Late in the 19th century, archaeologists digging in the Roman Forum discovered a lime kiln.
You are celebrated as the architect of one of the most famous buildings in the world, now in your late eighties and living quietly in your home outside Copenhagen.
Frank Auerbach (born 1931) is one of the most interesting artists working in Europe today, a philosophical painter of reality who works and re-works his pictures before he discovers something new, something worth saving.
These days, it is easy to take it for granted that Caravaggio (1571-1610) is the most popular of the old masters, yet it was not ever thus.
The Infinity of Lists by Umberto Eco, translated by Alastair McEwen
A postal strike would have been a disaster for Van Gogh.
Spectator readers will know that Andrew Lambirth is a romantic, a force for the literary and poetic approach to art criticism, so he is an admirably empathetic guide to Hoyland
Miranda the Panda is on the Veranda (1958) by Doris Sanders and Patricia Highsmith
Constable in Love, by Martin Gayford
The Ultimate Trophy: How Impressionist Painting Conquered the World, by Philip Hook
Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, by Tim Knox, photographs by Derry Moore
Red Star Over Russia, by David King
The Dog: 5000 Years of the Dog in Art, by Tamsin Pickeral
Dogs: History, Myth, Art, by Catherine Johns
The Horse: A Celebration of Horses in Art, by Rachel and Simon Barnes
Stephen Chambers, by Andrew Lambirth
Photopoetry, by Manuel Alvarez Bravo
Paintings in Proust, by Eric Karpeles
The Allure of Chanel, by Paul Morand, translated by Euan Cameron