Art

Sally Muir marvellously captures the particular hang of a hound’s head

True, dogged likenesses

16 December 2017 9:00 am

There are currently 151,000,000 photos on Instagram tagged #Dog which is 14,000,000 more than those tagged #Cat. The enormous number…

‘Chalices’ — a lesser known enamel work by Geoffrey Clarke, 1950

Geoffrey Clarke’s imaginative talents knew no bounds

2 December 2017 9:00 am

At the height of his fame in the mid-1960s, the sculptor Geoffrey Clarke (1924–2014) was buying fast cars and flying…

What does ‘Guernica’ really symbolise?

11 November 2017 9:00 am

It takes a bold author to open his book about ‘Guernica’ with a quotation from the Spanish artist Antonio Saura…

Ali Smith’s Winter is calm, cool and consoling

4 November 2017 9:00 am

In 1939, Barbara Hepworth gathered her children and her chisels and fled Hampstead for Cornwall. She expected war to challenge…

‘The Incredulity of Thomas’, by Caravaggio. (c.1603). It is only in St John’s Gospel that Thomas is portrayed as unbelieving

A Muslim’s insights into Christianity

28 October 2017 9:00 am

I’m not a critic, I’m an enthusiast. And when you are an enthusiast you need to try your best to…

Songs of the blood and the sword

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Jihadi Culture might sound like a joke title for a book, like ‘Great Belgians’ or ‘Canadian excitements’. But in this…

A menu for the emmets

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Tate St Ives is a pale 1980s block, with a fat rounded porte cochère and sea-stained walls. It is the…

The lifts are lovely: Tate Modern’s extension reviewed

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Tate Modern, badly overcrowded, has built itself a £260 million extension to spread everyone about the place more. This means…

The RA’s new restaurant prioritises its art over its customers

28 May 2016 9:00 am

The Keeper’s House sits in the basement of Burlington House, a restaurant in disguise. It is quite different from the…

‘Cassava with White Peacock Butterfly and young Golden Tegu’, 1702–3, by Maria Merian

The 17th century painter who hacked her way through Suriname in search of insects

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Maria Sibylla Merian was a game old bird of entrepreneurial bent, with an overwhelming obsession with insects. Born in Frankfurt…

Peter Phillips bids farewell to his music column after 33 years

7 May 2016 9:00 am

This, my 479th, is to be my last contribution as a regular columnist to The Spectator. I have written here…

Strange fruit: Bosch mixes scripture and folklore

Want your children to love art? Start with Hieronymus Bosch

23 April 2016 9:00 am

If you hope to inspire an appreciation of Renaissance art in your children, look to Hieronymus Bosch. Ideally, your children…

Hate tax havens? Try imagining a world without them

9 April 2016 9:00 am

However wicked tax evasion is and however distasteful some tax avoidance may be, people should imagine a world without tax…

Pharmacy 2 makes me like Damien Hirst

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Pharmacy 2 is the reanimated child of Damien Hirst; it lives inside the Newport Street Gallery in a forsaken patch of…

‘The upper part of the cascade at Hafod’ by John ‘Warwick’ Smith, 1793

How to view the view

20 February 2016 9:00 am

It’s not all picnics and cowslips. You need sense as well as sensibility to appreciate a landscape, says Mary Keen

‘The Evening’ by Caspar David Friedrich

At the going down of the sun

6 February 2016 9:00 am

One of the epigraphs to Peter Davidson’s nocturne on Europe’s arts of twilight is from Hegel: ‘The owl of Minerva…

Samuel Palmer’s ‘The Harvest Moon’: ‘the bowed forms of peasants are shadows of divinity’

Samuel Palmer: from long-haired mystic to High Church Tory

21 November 2015 9:00 am

In his youth, Samuel Palmer (1805–1881) painted like a Romantic poet. The moonlit field of ‘The Harvest Moon’ (1831–32) glows…

From top left: Lucian Freud, Rudolf Bing, Stefan Zweig, Walter Gropius, Rudolf Laban, Max Born, Kurt Schwitters, Friedrich Hayek, Fritz Busch, Frank Auerbach, Emeric Pressburger, Oskar Kokoschka

German refugees transformed British cultural life - but at a price

3 October 2015 9:00 am

German-speaking refugees dragged British culture into the 20th century. But that didn’t go down well in Stepney or Stevenage, says William Cook

Rybolovlev with the Picassos

Hurrah! Demi Moore is Pugs club’s new Mistress of Chamber

3 October 2015 9:00 am

If cheating is the cancer of sport, losing has to be its halitosis. I stunk out the joint in Amsterdam…

Why we should embrace being average

3 October 2015 8:00 am

Maybe what we love about radio is the way that most of its programming allows us the luxury of staying…

With rain threatening, Jane Bennet departs for Netherfield — with her mother’s approval. Illustration by Hugh Thomson for Pride and Prejudice (1894)

Rain, shine and the human imagination — from Adam and Eve to David Hockney

12 September 2015 9:00 am

‘Pray don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr Worthing,’ pleads Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest. ‘Whenever people…

Sympathy for the devils: Reggie and Ronnie Kray in northeast London, 1964

I was Reggie Kray's penpal

12 September 2015 9:00 am

Harry Mount once idolised the Kray twins. He’s since seen the error of his ways

Francis Bacon in Paris in 1984

Bacon on the side: the great painter’s drinking partner tells all

5 September 2015 9:00 am

When Michael Peppiatt met Francis Bacon in 1963 to interview him for a student magazine, the artist was already well-established,…

Ravilious in Essex: ‘Two Women in the Garden’, watercolour, 1932

The only art is Essex

29 August 2015 9:00 am

When I went to visit Edward Bawden he vigorously denied that there were any modern painters in Essex. That may…

A remote island community is disrupted by the arrival of a troubled teenager

15 August 2015 9:00 am

Benjamin Wood’s first novel, The Bellwether Revivals, was published in 2012, picked up good reviews, was shortlisted for the Costa…