Painting with Light:

Pride of place in the first room of this exhibition goes to a vast and very odd painting, "The Disruption Portrait", by the 19th-century artist David Octavius Hill. Twenty-three years in the making, it depicts the  ...

Botticelli Reimagined, London

Peter Ustinov once said that if Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) were alive today, he'd be working for "Vogue." You can see what he was driving at. Around 1485, Botticelli painted "The Birth of Venus," which famously shows the goddess  ...

Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art

You get a good idea of the esteem in which Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) was held by later French painters from a small Cézanne, fittingly titled "The Apotheosis of Delacroix." It shows the older artist being borne heavenward by angels, one  ...

The Magic Flute, London

Simon McBurney has returned to the English National Opera to direct the first revival of his production of Mozart's last great opera, which McBurney originally staged at the Coliseum in 2013. When his name was announced, there was a tendency  ...

Goya: the Portraits

It's an unsettling experience, standing in front of the little pen and ink study which the Spanish artist Goya made of himself in 1795. He may in fact be concentrating on his own image in a mirror, but it's easy  ...

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei is a global phenomenon. As well as being one of the most recognizable artists working today, he's famous for his outspoken criticism of the Chinese government and in particular of its record on human rights. So great is  ...

Richard Diebenkorn, London

Before last week, I knew the work of Californian artist Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) only secondhand and had never actually stood in front of one of his paintings. Compared to the giants of the New York school, the San Francisco Bay  ...

Inventing Impressionism, London

It's a curious fact that the decisive moment in the history of Impressionism took place not in Paris but in London. In September 1870, just after the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, Parisian art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel (1831-1922) moved a  ...