Art

‘He thought he could have made it as a visual artist — if only more people had liked his work.’ Above: John Arlott reading (1977) and Kathy and Jessy (1963)

The gentle intoxications of Laurie Lee

28 June 2014 9:00 am

On Laurie Lee’s centenary, Jeremy Treglown wonders how the writer’s legacy stands up

Why the BBC will never match Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation

17 May 2014 9:00 am

No modern critic would dare match Kenneth Clark’s fearless way with sweeping statements

Della Francesca’s ‘Resurrection’

The mathematical revolution behind ‘the greatest picture in the world’

19 April 2014 9:00 am

The Indian inspiration with which Piero della Francesca created ‘the greatest picture in the world’

This beautiful new history of Kew Gardens needs a bit of weeding

12 April 2014 9:00 am

Edward Bawden’s Kew Gardens is a beautiful book. Lovers of early 20th-century British art will find it hard to stop…

Caught between a New Age rock and a theory junkie hard place

22 March 2014 9:00 am

Siri Hustvedt’s new novel isn’t exactly an easy read — but the casual bookshop browser should be reassured that it’s…

A spirit to warm Bruegel’s ‘Hunters in the Snow’

15 February 2014 9:00 am

The ostensible subject matter is misleading, as is any conflation with his lesser relatives’ wassailing peasants and roistering village squares.…

Clarissa Tan's Notebook: Why I stopped drinking petrol

25 January 2014 9:00 am

Florence was in fog the day I arrived. Its buildings were bathed in white cloud, its people moved as though…

Saving Italy, by Robert M. Edsel - a review

20 July 2013 9:00 am

During the civil war, the Puritan iconoclast William Dowsing recorded with satisfaction his destructive visit in 1644 to the parish…

When a smartphone gallery is better than the real thing

20 July 2013 9:00 am

Michael Prodger finds that new technology is transforming how we experience art – in galleries, on computers and on smartphones too

Christopher Sykes’s diary: David Hockney, Bridlington lobster, and the risks of a third martini

6 July 2013 9:00 am

I began my week with a trip to Bridlington, the closest seaside town to my childhood home. ‘Brid’, as it’s…

‘Artist’s Studio “Look Mickey”’, 1973, by Roy Lichtenstein

How Roy Lichtenstein became weighed down with superficiality

9 March 2013 9:00 am

Andrew Lambirth finds that Roy Lichtenstein became weighed down with superficiality

An enigma wrapped in a conundrum

26 May 2012 4:00 pm

What to make of Banksy? Artist or vandal? Tate Modern holds no Banksys and, other than a redundant phone box…

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…

Bookends: Disarming but disingenuous

14 April 2012 9:00 am

At first glance, Be the Worst You Can Be (Booth-Clibborn Editions, £9.99) by Charles Saatchi (pictured above with his wife,…

Where dreams take shape

7 April 2012 10:00 am

The question of what artists actually get up to in their studios has always intrigued the rest of us —…

A fine and private painter

31 March 2012 11:00 am

Prunella Clough was a modest and self-effacing artist who nevertheless produced some of the most consistently original and innovative British…

Portraits of an age

3 March 2012 10:00 am

By a fine coincidence, two legendary icons of British art were being feted in London on the same evening last…

Currents of imagery

17 December 2011 9:00 pm

In the first book of his scientific-cum-philosophical poem ‘De rerum Natura’ — or ‘On the Nature of Things’ — Lucretius…

Oh brother!

17 December 2011 8:00 pm

Long in the writing, deep in research, heavy to hold, this is the latest of umpteen biographies of Vincent van…

Settling old scores

10 December 2011 10:00 am

As a boy, Brian Sewell was unimpressed by opera but enraptured by pantomime which, he reveals in Outsider, sowed in…

Lust for life

3 December 2011 10:00 am

Seduced by the hayseed hair and the Yorkshire accent it’s tempting to see the young David Hockney as the Freddie…

Art Books: A sumptuous tour

19 November 2011 10:00 am

In 1930 Evelyn Waugh, already at 27 a famous novelist, spent two days in Barcelona. He came upon one of…

William Nicholson: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings by Patricia Reed

5 November 2011 10:00 am

A pleasingly tactile canvas-like cover adorns this heavy book and proclaims its purpose; the boldly brushed illustration is a detail…

A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney by Martin Gayford

29 October 2011 10:00 am

Like his contemporary and fellow Yorkshireman, Alan Bennett, whom he slightly resembles physically, David Hockney has been loved and admired…

Art for ransom

27 August 2011 10:00 am

These two books make mutually illuminating and surprisingly contrasting companions, given the similarity of their subjects.