Painting

‘Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington’, 1829, by Sir Thomas Lawrence

Wellington's PR machine

28 March 2015 9:00 am

The history of portraiture is festooned with images of sitters overwhelmed by dress, setting and the accoutrements of worldly success.…

Richard Diebenkorn 'Berkeley #5' (1953) . Copyright:
The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

Richard Diebenkorn at the Royal Academy reviewed: among the best visual evocations of LA there are

21 March 2015 9:00 am

It is true that, like wine, certain artists don’t travel. Richard Diebenkorn, subject of the spring exhibition in the Royal…

Left: ‘Dream of a good witch’, c.1819–23, by Goya Right: ‘Bajan niñendo (They descend quarrelling)’, c.1819–23, by Goya

Flying witches, mad old men, cannibals: what was going on in Goya’s head?

14 March 2015 9:00 am

It is not impossible to create good art that makes a political point, just highly unusual. Goya’s ‘Third of May’…

Camille Pissarro
The Avenue, Sydenham, 1871.
© The National Gallery, London

Inventing Impressionism at the National Gallery reviewed: a mixed bag of sometimes magnificent paintings

7 March 2015 9:00 am

When it was suggested that a huge exhibition of Impressionist paintings should be held in London, Claude Monet had his…

‘Two Figures in a Room’, 1959, by Francis Bacon

The dos and don’ts of the Russian art scene

28 February 2015 9:00 am

They’re doing fantastic deals on five-star hotels in St Petersburg the weekend the Francis Bacon exhibition opens at the Hermitage.…

‘Group with Parasols’, c.1904, by John Singer Sargent

Sargent, National Portrait Gallery, review: he was so good he should have been better

21 February 2015 9:00 am

The artist Malcolm Morley once fantasised about a magazine that would be devoted to the practice of painting just as…

Van Gogh's 'The Diggers' (1889). Credit: Collectie Stedelijk

Where Van Gogh learned to paint

14 February 2015 9:00 am

William Cook reports from the sooty netherworld that made an artist of Vincent Van Gogh

The Widow (2013) by Marlene Dumas. Photo: Peter Cox/Tate Modern.

Marlene Dumas at Tate Modern reviewed: 'remarkable'

7 February 2015 9:00 am

‘Whoever wishes to devote himself to painting,’ Henri Matisse once advised, ‘should begin by cutting out his own tongue.’ Marlene…

Helio Oiticica's Metaesquema (1958) and Kazimir Malevich Black and White Suprematist Composition (1915)

Geometry in the 20th and 21st centuries was adventurous - and apocalyptic

17 January 2015 9:00 am

Almost a decade ago, David Cameron informed Tony Blair, unkindly but accurately, ‘You were the future once.’ A visitor to…

‘The Spectators’, 1947 and 'Woman with the birdcage' by Robert Colquhoun

The tragic tale of the Two Roberts is a story of two artists cut off in their prime

10 January 2015 9:00 am

In 1933, two new students met on their first day at Glasgow School of Art. From then on they were…

‘Woman at Her Toilette’, 1875/80, by Berthe Morisot

2015 in exhibitions - painting still rules

3 January 2015 9:00 am

The art on show over the coming year demonstrates that we still live in an age of mighty painters, says Martin Gayford

‘The Census at Bethlehem’, 1566, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Climate change, Bruegel-style

13 December 2014 9:00 am

The world depicted by the Flemish master is not so different from our own, says Martin Gayford

‘Melting Snow at Wormingford’, 1962, by John Nash

Snow - art’s biggest challenge

13 December 2014 9:00 am

In owning a flock of artificial sheep, Joseph Farquharson must have been unusual among Highland lairds a century ago. His…

‘North Cape’, probably 1840s, by Peder Balke

We must never again let this 19th century Norwegian master slip into oblivion

6 December 2014 9:00 am

You won’t have heard of Peder Balke. Yet this long-neglected painter from 19th-century Norway is now the subject of a…

‘Chair’, 1969, by Allen Jones, which had acid thrown on it in 1986

Does Allen Jones deserve a retrospective at the Royal Academy?

29 November 2014 9:00 am

It has been a vintage season for mannequins. At the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, an exhibition called Silent Partners looks…

David Hockney at work in his studio, c.1967

David Hockney interview: ‘The avant-garde have lost their authority’

22 November 2014 9:00 am

David Hockney talks to Martin Gayford about 60 years of ignoring art fashion

‘Gian Girolamo Albani’, c.1570, by Giovanni Battista Moroni

Without a model, Moroni could be stunningly dull. With one, he was peerless...

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Giovanni Battista Moroni, wrote Bernard Berenson, was ‘the only mere portrait painter that Italy has ever produced’. Indeed, Berenson continued,…

‘Before the Mirror’, 1913, by Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele at the Courtauld: a one-note samba of spindly limbs, nipples and pudenda

8 November 2014 9:00 am

One day, as a student — or so the story goes — Egon Schiele called on Gustav Klimt, a celebrated…

‘Hat Stand’, 1969, one of a group of three sculptures that caused controversy early on in the artist’s career

The pop artist whose transgressions went too far – for the PC art world

1 November 2014 9:00 am

After years of being effectively banned from exhibiting in his own country, Allen Jones finally reaches the RA with his first major UK retrospective. Andrew Lambirth meets him

Timothy-Spall-as-Mr-Turner

Mr Turner: the gruntiest, snortiest, huffiest film of the year - and the most beautiful too

1 November 2014 9:00 am

Mr Turner may be the gruntiest film of the year, possibly the gruntiest film ever. ‘Grunt, grunt, grunt,’ goes Mr…

Finding his feet: ‘Untitled (man and two women in a pastoral setting)’, 1940

How Rothko become the mythic superman of mystical abstraction

1 November 2014 9:00 am

Mark Rothko was an abstract artist who didn’t see himself as an abstract artist — or at least not in…

'Supermarkets' (1976), by Sigmar Polke. Picture: The Estate of Sigmar Polke

Tate Modern’s latest show feels like it’s from another planet

18 October 2014 9:00 am

‘Some day we shall no longer need pictures: we shall just be happy.’ — Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter, 1966…

‘Winter Landscape (Winterlandschaft)’, 1970, by Anselm Kiefer

All my doubts about Anselm Kiefer are blown away by his Royal Academy show

11 October 2014 9:00 am

In the Royal Academy’s courtyard are two large glass cases or vitrines containing model submarines. In one the sea has…

‘Rain, Steam and Speed — The Great Western Railway’, 1844, by J.M.W. Turner

Tate Britain’s Turner show reveals an old master - though the Spectator didn’t think so at the time

27 September 2014 9:00 am

Juvenilia is the work produced during an artist’s youth. It would seem logical to think, therefore, that an artist’s output…

Portrait of a couple as Isaac and Rebecca, known as ‘The Jewish Bride’, c.1665, by Rembrandt

Why everyone loves Rembrandt

27 September 2014 8:00 am

Talking of Rembrandt’s ‘The Jewish Bride’ to a friend, Vincent van Gogh went — characteristically — over the top. ‘I…