The Spectator

23 February 2019

The change we need?

The new Independent Group causes problems for both Labour and the Tories


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

Arts feature

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

Architects need to stop aiming for the 'iconic' and focus on everyday beauty, says the chair of the government's new architecture commission


The first great English artist – the life and art of Nicholas Hilliard

Hilliard’s exquisite, original miniatures led to a recovery of indigenous art in Tudor England after the desecration of Edward VI

Apocalypse now: ‘Wood near My House, Somerset’, c.1991, by Don McCullin


Few soldiers have seen as many terrible sights as Don McCullin

Plus: how Diane Arbus could make just about anybody appear unaccountably strange


How good really was Berlioz?

Plus: WNO’s Un ballo in maschera is worth catching for the playing and singing but don’t expect to understand what’s going on

‘The Fisherman’s Cottage’, 1906, by Harald Sohlberg


If you’re tired of hygge then you’ll like Harald Sohlberg

Plus: British dreamers at the Bohun Gallery's final show


Forget the Don – come for the Mataphwoar Ryoichi Hirano: Royal Ballet’s Don Quixote reviewed

The music is irresistible, the designs delightful and Vadim Muntagirov's legs are like silver compasses


Enjoyably contrived: BBC1’s Baptiste reviewed

Plus: Channel 4's thriller Traitors is more of a chin-stroker than a heart-pounder

A swirl of scienza and fantasia: ‘A Deluge’, c.1517–18, by Leonardo da Vinci


The terrifying genius of Leonardo

Leonardo: A Life in Drawing is an unprecedented opportunity to examine the artist's obsessive observations, a vast exhibition of his galloping mind, in his quincentenary

A letter from Vincent van Gogh to his younger brother Theo, dated 28 October 1883


'Lock him in a motel & he'd do something astonishing': Hockney on the genius of Van Gogh

On the eve of several major Van Gogh celebrations in London and Amsterdam, David Hockney explains what makes the Dutch artist's drawings such a joy


Crackles with nylon, self-regard and unearned privilege: On the Basis of Sex reviewed

Starring a remorselessly perky Felicity Jones, this is a hagiographical biopic of the Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg


The worst Arthur Miller play I’ve ever seen

Plus: though the final scenes are gripping, the rest of Ivo van Hove’s All About Eve is encumbered by multimedia trickery