Arts feature

Postcard from the edge: The Rings of Saturn (Shingle Street — unused photograph), 1994

From haunted to haunter: the afterlife of W.G. Sebald

18 May 2019 9:00 am

East Anglia, the rump of the British Isles, has inspired a disproportionate number of writers: Robert Macfarlane, Daisy Johnson, Mark…

Bring me my arrow of desire: the original Italian film poster for Pasolini’s 1974 Il Fiore delle Mille e Una Notte

How film fell for caliphs and slave girls

11 May 2019 9:00 am

Justin Marozzi on film’s love affair with the Arabian Nights

Lance encounters: a plate from The Book of Tournaments, Maximilian’s remarkable encyclopedia of jousting

The joy of jousting

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Chivalric spectacle, martial display, marriage market, medieval G8. Laura Freeman on why the Late Middle Ages were mad for jousting

The eyes have it: ‘The Zebra’, 1763, by George Stubbs

What makes British art British?

27 April 2019 9:00 am

British art is a triumph of natural observation, says Jonathan Jones, and empiricism is at the heart of it

Northern soul: Whitby Abbey was built on the site where the date of Easter was decided

Whitby Abbey is at the heart of Britain's spiritual and literary history

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Saints, vampires and home of the first English poet: the town’s abbey is at the heart of Britain’s spiritual and literary history, says the Revd Steve Morris

Dancer, choreographer, iconoclast: Merce Cunningham in 1962

Merce Cunningham's work was magical, intangible, Einsteinian – revival is futile

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Merce Cunningham’s work was magical, intangible, Einsteinian, says Ismene Brown. Revival is futile

Why were the Victorians so obsessed with the moon?

6 April 2019 9:00 am

Daniel Swift delves into the Victorian obsession with this slippery celestial body

Mary, Mary, quite contrary: Mary Quant and fellow-revolutionary Vidal Sassoon in 1964

My ringside seat on the Mary Quant revolution

30 March 2019 9:00 am

Veteran fashion editor Brigid Keenan remembers Mary Quant’s key role in the youthquake that shook 1960s England

Life after death: Billie Holliday at the Hologram USA Theater

The rise and rise of the holographic tour

23 March 2019 9:00 am

Holographic tours are increasingly big business. Michael Hann on the rise of the posthumous encore

All the world’s a stage: Luwam Teklizgi (Rita) and Toby Jones (Peter) in BBC2’s forthcoming Don’t Forget the Driver

Toby Jones on the allure of the everyman – and the glamour of coach-driving

14 March 2019 9:00 am

Toby Jones tells Steve Morris about the allure of the ordinary and the odd glamour of playing a coach driver

‘Afternoon at the Beach in Valencia’, 1904, by Joaquin Sorolla

Enjoy a blast of Spanish sun from Joaquin Sorolla

9 March 2019 9:00 am

Laura Gascoigne enjoys a blast of Spanish sun, courtesy of Joaquin Sorolla, whose paintings are being shown in London for the first time since 1908

Left: cartoon of Hector Berlioz published in the Wiener Theaterzeitung in 1846. Right: the composer in 1863, aged 59

David Cairns explains how we learned to love Berlioz

2 March 2019 9:00 am

For a century the visionary composer was seen as a freak, but finally, 150 years after his death, his time has come

Polite postmodernism: Burbridge Close, Dagenham, by Peter Barber Architects is a recent housing development for the elderly that Roger Scruton approves of

Here's what I want from modern architecture, explains housing tsar Roger Scruton

23 February 2019 9:00 am

Architecture needs to stop aiming for the ‘iconic’ and focus on everyday beauty, says Roger Scruton, the new housing tsar

World-class: Symphony Orchestra of India in its tropical Barbican in Mumbai

Meet India's first – and only – professional western orchestra

16 February 2019 9:00 am

Ahead of its first ever UK tour, Richard Bratby meets the trio behind India’s first – and only – professional western orchestra

Scourge of puritans: Christian Dior with model Sylvie, c.1948

How an anarchist music student became one of the fashion greats: the life of Christian Dior

9 February 2019 9:00 am

How an anarchist music student became one of the fashion greats, with the help of a fortune-teller: Melanie McDonagh on the extraordinary life of Christian Dior

A document of a mass human experiment that is moving, revolting, violent and extraordinarily pornographic

Dau is the strangest and most unsettling piece of art to come out of Russia in years

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Owen Matthews on the strangest, most unsettling piece of art to come out of Russia in years

Fasten your seatbelts: Bette Davis in her dressing room during the filming of All About Eve

All About Eve was all about bitching – off-screen as well as on

26 January 2019 9:00 am

Bette Davis didn’t have to act; she was Margo Channing. Robert Gore-Langton goes behind the scenes of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1950 masterpiece

Gary Raymond and Richard Burton in Tony Richardson’s 1959 film version of Look Back in Anger

What a relief we can finally admit Jimmy Porter was a pain in the neck

19 January 2019 9:00 am

Gary Raymond, one of the original stars of Look Back in Anger, tells Steve Morris what he – and most other people – really thought of John Osborne’s angry young man

Pounds of flesh: Takayasu throws Takakeisho to the ground to win the 2018 Kyushu tournament in Fukuoka

The balletic, bum-baring rituals of sumo

12 January 2019 9:00 am

Dance critic Louise Levene investigates the balletic, bum-baring rituals of sumo

Writers of some of the best-loved programmes in British television history: Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement

Dick Clement on Porridge, Kirk Douglas and having seven projects on the go

5 January 2019 9:00 am

Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais are still going strong after more than 50 years. James Walton discovers their secret

‘The Nativity’, 1470–75, by Piero della Francesca

The fascinating story behind one of the best-loved depictions of the Nativity

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Martin Gayford tells the fascinating story behind one of art history’s best-loved depictions of the Nativity

The people have not forgotten me: the exiled Empress of Iran interviewed

15 December 2018 9:00 am

The widow of the Shah of Iran was painted by Warhol and assembled the greatest collection of art outside of Europe. Will Heaven meets her

True stories: Gary Kemp in 1971

Gary Kemp on pop, Pre-Raphaelites, politics and playing Pinter

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Gary Kemp is enjoying a comeback. He talks to Michael Hann about pop, the Pre-Raphaelites, politics and playing Pinter

David Schwimmer has produced a new film of Alexander Zeldin’s play LOVE for the BBC. [Photo: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images]

David Schwimmer on his new BBC film

8 December 2018 9:00 am

David Schwimmer liked Alexander Zeldin’s play about poverty so much he has made it into a film. Tanya Gold got a preview

Read The Spectator article that gave birth to musical minimalism 50 years ago

8 December 2018 9:00 am

Fifty years ago, in a review by composer Michael Nyman, The Spectator helped christen a musical movement that came to dominate the world