From Leonardo to Hepworth: the art of surgery

A doctor with wild grey hair and mutton chops holds a scalpel in his bloodied hand. He has paused for a moment, allowing one of his students to take his place and complete the incision. It’s a remarkably clean cut; the young man with the clamp has barely dirtied his shirt cuffs. Even so, the patient’s mother, if that’s who she is, weeps in the corner. She can see nothing but frock coats and a segment of open flesh. The 19th-century Philadelphia-based artist Thomas Eakins did not paint surgery as it was, exactly, but he did capture something of its veiled sterility. There may be no gowns or masks in

Antony Gormley: why sculpture is far superior to painting

Antony Gormley: In the beginning was the thing! The reason I chose sculpture as a vocation was to escape words, to communicate in a physical way. It was a means of confronting the way things were, of getting to know them in material terms. The origins of making physical objects go back to before the advent of Homo sapiens, earlier even than the appearance of our Neanderthal cousins. Sculpture emerges from material culture. At the beginning there was an urge to make objects and you could argue that making them was the catalyst for the emergence of the modern mind. Martin Gayford: The earliest sculpture so far discovered is often