Martin Gayford

‘Rainstorm over the sea’, 1824–28, by John Constable © Royal Academy of Arts, London; Photographer: John Hammond

Constable was every bit as good at sea-painting as Turner

22 April 2017 9:00 am

John Constable was, as we say these days, conflicted about Brighton. On the one hand, as he wrote in a…

Frankly dreadful: ‘The Renaissance of Venus’, 1877, by Walter Crane

Would the artists in Tate’s Queer British Art show have approved of being included?

15 April 2017 8:00 am

‘There is only one thing worse than homosexual art,’ the painter Patrick Procktor was once heard to declare at a…

‘Schicksalslinien/Be-Ziehungen VIII’ (‘Lines of Fate’/’Re-lations VIII’), 1994, by Maria Lassnig

Is collage the natural idiom for our cut-and-paste society?

1 April 2017 9:00 am

How do you make a work of art? One method is to cut things up and stick them back together…

‘Absent Friends’, 2000–1, by Howard Hodgkin

Howard Hodgkin claimed not to be an abstract artist. So what exactly was he?

25 March 2017 9:00 am

The late Howard Hodgkin stated emphatically that he was not an abstract artist. So what exactly was he? asks Martin Gayford

‘The Judgment of Solomon’, c.1506–9, by Sebastiano del Piombo. © National Trust Images/Derrick E. Witty

Was Sebastiano imitating Michelangelo or – a startling thought – vice versa?

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Martin Gayford is mystified by the mismatched working partnership between Michelangelo and the painter Sebastiano del Piombo

‘Boy falling from a window’, 1592, Italy, Naples (possibly)

The key to the Italian Renaissance lies in the home

11 March 2017 9:00 am

There have been many explanations for what happened in the Italian Renaissance. Some stress the revival of classical antiquity, others…

‘Iguazu’, 2010, by Wolfgang Tillmans

Coolly contemporary – especially in its muddle: Wolfgang Tillmans at the Tate reviewed

4 March 2017 9:00 am

These days the world is experiencing an unprecedented overload of photographs, a global glut of pictures. More and more are…

‘Gas’, 1940, by Edward Hopper

The good, the bad and the ugly: RA’s America after the Fall reviewed

25 February 2017 9:00 am

The latest exhibition at the Royal Academy is entitled America after the Fall. It deals with painting in the United…

‘Peasants’, c.1930, by Kazimir Malevich

The true harshness of Soviet life rarely comes through: RA’s Revolution reviewed

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Vladimir Putin notoriously declared the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 to be one of the greatest disasters of…

Moses has a formidable authority, with the physique of a bodybuilder and a beard that cascades like Niagara Falls

Michelangelo’s grave miscalculation

4 February 2017 9:00 am

‘How often’, wrote Sigmund Freud in 1914, ‘have I mounted the steep steps from the unlovely Corso Cavour to the…

‘Eli’, 2002, by Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud’s etchings are some of the strongest things he ever did

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Two divergent approaches to printmaking are on view in an exhibition of graphic work by Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud…

Martin Gayford celebrates the quiet, underrated masterpieces of Michael Andrews

28 January 2017 9:00 am

Martin Gayford celebrates the quiet, underrated masterpieces of Michael Andrews

‘Breakwater’, 1994, by Sandra Blow

Sandra Blow's paintings hold their own with Sixties stars like Hockney and Riley

21 January 2017 9:00 am

In the 1940s Lucian Freud took another young painter, Sandra Blow, up to the top of a bombed church in…

‘Spiral Motif in Green, Violet, Blue and Gold: The Coast of the Inland Sea’, 1950, by Victor Pasmore

Who was the real Victor Pasmore?

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Victor Pasmore once told me how he greeted Pablo Picasso at Victoria station. The great man had come to Britain…

‘Bolshevik’, 1920, by Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev

The USSR, USA, David Hockney and plywood: Martin Gayford on the visual treats of 2017

31 December 2016 9:00 am

Martin Gayford looks forward to two big Russian shows coming to London next year – and to other visual treats on offer in 2017

Left: Maíno, 1612–14: ‘The Adoration of the Kings’ Right: ‘The Adoration of the Shepherds’

O come, let us adore this little-known Spanish painter

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Martin Gayford is dazzled by two Adorations by a little-known Spanish painter

‘Bed’, 1955, by Robert Rauschenberg

The first half is essential – the second much less so: Tate's Robert Rauschenberg reviewed

3 December 2016 9:00 am

Robert Rauschenberg, like Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale, was a ‘snapper-up of unconsidered trifles’. Unlike Shakespeare’s character, however, he made…

Frédéric Bouchot’s ‘L’envie’. From Paris comique, livre album (1842). Illustration from The Silhouette from the 18th Century to the present Day

The best art books of 2016

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Suitably for a year so full of cataclysms and disturbing portents, 2016 is the quincentenary of the death of Hieronymus…

‘Scenes of the Private and Public Life of the Animals’, 1842, by J.J. Grandville

An entertaining show at Marian Goodman Gallery – where the joke’s on us

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Ernest Hemingway loved going to the zoo, but not on Sundays. The reason, he explained, was that, ‘I don’t like…

‘Study of Two Blossoming Branches of Almond Trees’, early February 1890, Saint-Rémy

Is this newly discovered Van Gogh sketchbook real?

19 November 2016 9:00 am

Vincent van Gogh spent a remarkably short span of time in the southern French town of Arles. The interval between…

Was James Ensor’s secret that he didn’t really have one?

5 November 2016 9:00 am

On 2 August 1933 one of the more improbable meetings of the 20th century took place when Albert Einstein had…

Visionary: ‘Battle of Germany’, 1944, by Paul Nash

Wonderfully mellow, rich and strange: Paul Nash at Tate Britain reviewed

29 October 2016 9:00 am

In 1932 Paul Nash posed the question, is it possible to ‘go modern’ and still ‘be British?’ — a conundrum…

‘Portrait of Lee Miller as l’Arlésienne’, 1937, by Pablo Picasso

Was Picasso making fun of the subjects of his portraits?

22 October 2016 9:00 am

As a chat-up line it was at least unusual. On 8 January 1927, a 46-year-old man approached a young woman…

Caravaggio blasts everything else off the walls in the National Gallery’s new show

15 October 2016 9:00 am

We don’t know what Caravaggio himself would have made of Beyond Caravaggio, the new exhibition at the National Gallery which…

Majestic, exhilarating and overpowering: Royal Academy’s Abstract Expressionism reviewed

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Martin Gayford is dazzled by the scale, majesty and visual power of the Royal Academy’s Abstract Expressionism show