Honor Clerk

One of many versions of Monet’s water lilies

Monet’s Water Lilies – his Great War gift to France

17 September 2016 9:00 am

Claude Monet wanted to be buried in a buoy. ‘This idea seemed to please him,’ his friend Gustave Geffroy wrote.…

What narrative can be teased out of Gustave Caillebotte’s ‘The Bridge of Europe’?

The art critic who loved to provoke the Establishment

14 May 2016 9:00 am

Richard Dorment doesn’t do whimsy. Or Stanley Spencer. He’s a fan of Cy Twombly and Brice Marden, Gilbert and George…

‘Beachy Head’ by Eric Ravilious

Let there be light

2 April 2016 9:00 am

There has been extraordinarily little bright sunlight in the far northwest corner of Britain over the past year. Damp, drizzling…

Self-portrait at the spinet by Lavinia Fontana, 1578 and ‘Birthday’ by Dorothea Tanning, 1942

Sexy selfies through the ages

26 March 2016 9:00 am

At nearly eight foot high and five foot wide, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard’s portrait of herself with two of her students is…

Velázquez’s portrait of his Moorish assistant Juan de Pareja. The glorious lace collar would surely have fallen foul of Spain’s sumptuary laws

Velázquez’s vanishing act

2 January 2016 9:00 am

This is an extraordinary story. In 1845 John Snare, an unremarkable Reading bookseller, goes to an auction in a defunct…

Rory McEwen: man of many talents — and among the greatest of all flower painters

25 July 2015 9:00 am

It seems odd that a singer, musician, television performer and sculptor who typified the 1960s as vividly as Rory McEwen…

A John Craske painting from the Sylvia Townsend Warner Collection

The self-taught maritime artist who transcends ‘naïve’ cliché

4 April 2015 9:00 am

In the manner of Richard Holmes’s Footsteps, Julia Blackburn’s story of John Craske is as much autobiography as biography, as…

Filippino Lippi’s fresco of St Peter being freed from prison by an angel

The hidden history of one of the greatest treasures of the early Renaissance: Florence’s Brancacci chapel

10 January 2015 9:00 am

In 1439 Abraham of Souzdal, a Russian bishop visiting Florence, was in the audience in Santa Maria del Carmine for…

Ali Smith's How to be Both: warm, funny, subtle, intelligent – and baffling

30 August 2014 9:00 am

Pity the poor art historian writing a survey of painters from Giotto to, say, Poussin. In order to produce a…

Detail of St Christopher, 15th century, Church of St Botolph, Slapton, Northants

Wonders written on the wall

19 April 2014 9:00 am

‘Take away, utterly extinct and destroy all shrines … pictures, paintings and all other monuments of feigned miracles, pilgrimages, idolatry…

'Marcia painting her self-portrait’; detail from Boccaccio’s On Famous Women (1402)

The selfie from Akhenaten to Tracey Emin

22 March 2014 9:00 am

If ever there was a time to write a book about self-portraits, this must be it.  ‘Past interest in the…

Weaving Scotland's history

14 December 2013 9:00 am

A couple of years ago, while tracking down paintings for the Public Catalogue Foundation in the far north of Scotland,…

How to avoid bankers in your nativity scene

19 October 2013 9:00 am

With an eye to the blasphemy underlying some of the loveliest Renaissance painting, Honor Clerk will be choosing her Christmas cards more carefully this year

Seaweeds, by Ole G. Mouritsen - review

13 July 2013 9:00 am

On 14 April each year, nori fishermen gather on a hillside overlooking Ariake Bay on Kyushu in southern Japan to…

The picture of health

14 April 2012 10:15 am

It must have been hard to settle on a title for this book; but then this is not the book…

Ransacking the world

21 May 2011 12:00 am

Something in the air is arousing an interest in collectors and collections — both private and public — of which the success of The Hare with Amber Eyes and The Children’s Book are perhaps the most visible recent examples.

Walking wounded

19 February 2011 12:00 am

Paul Torday’s phenomenal success with Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was always going to be a hard act to follow.

The devil’s in the detail

10 June 2009 12:00 am

The Angel’s Game, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Morality tale with a difference

1 October 2008 12:00 am

A Most Wanted Man, by John le Carré

The circle of a lonely psychiatrist

28 May 2008 12:00 am

Honor Clerk on Siri Hustvedt’s latest novel

A new way of seeing

18 March 2008 12:00 am

Honor Clerk reviews Sara Maitland's latest book

The school of hard knocks

1 August 2007 2:22 pm

Honor Clerk: Life Class, by Pat Baker

An ever-present absence

1 March 2007 9:24 am

It is a curious phenomenon of the modern novel that so many writers entrust their narrative voice to a character…

A martyr without a cause

18 January 2007 7:58 am

‘Yes, you may well sigh and beat your head on the table,’ the narrator-protagonist of Love Songs and Lies addresses…

A picture that tells a story

8 February 2003 12:00 am

Can it be said that anyone is sane, that anyone is healthy – or does all life consist of degrees…