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Buying power

Forgery in painting has enjoyed a long history of scandal and from time to time spills more ink than paint, in part because we all enjoy reading about an art expert or moneyed person getting taken in by a fake. Our pleasure derives from that cocky-smug common-sense feeling that no painting is worth the prices

New ways of looking

Since 2003, the National Gallery has been organising a series of annual exhibitions in partnership with Bristol’s City Museum and Art Gallery and the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle. (Readers will perhaps recall previous themed shows: Paradise, Making Faces and last year The Stuff of Life.) This initiative has proved so successful that the programme

Magical theatre box

The story so far of the RSC’s Complete Works marathon has been largely that of performances, some wonderfully rich and strange, coming in from abroad. Unable to spend an entire summer camped out in Stratford, I have still to catch up with some of the reputedly stronger offerings by the home team. But even the

Mean streets

It is a curious thing to watch Christian Bale now, having seen him all those years ago in Empire of the Sun play that fierce, hurt boy Jim Graham, whom no amount of deprivation seemed outwardly to wound, but who bled on the inside like the Spartan boy with his fox. The qualities of that