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Art history

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

The most famous bedroom in art history: secrets of Van Gogh’s nocturnal life

A story of changing wall colours, a pair of pillows, wartime bombs and the hunt for a lost bed

News
Discoveries

The story behind a student who discovered Edward Hopper's earliest paintings were copies

New research finds teenage artist's landscapes were based on a magazine for amateurs learning how to paint

Preview
Exhibitions

Art historian Aby Warburg’s groundbreaking image atlas reunited in Berlin after nearly a century

The Bilderatlas Mnemosyne—once derided by Ernst Gombrich—will appear in its fullest form since Warburg's final presentation

Review
Media & broadcast

Hannah Gadsby: taking down art history's misogyny through comedy

From the High Renaissance to Picasso’s questionable moral compass, the Tasmanian comedian is bringing an exploration of art's patriarchy to a new audience

Review
Books

New Orientalists: a thoughtful book on the rise and decline of Western artists in the Middle East

There is plenty to enjoy in this account of a group of travelling painters who were not only accomplished but also determined, brave and hardy

News
Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh detective discovers exact spot of artist's last work, painted just hours before his suicide

The spot—in a village north of Paris—now has a plaque linking it to Vincent's death

Blog
Diary

Have we entered the era of Cuomoceptualism? New York governor unveils surreal Covid-19 poster

Comment
Religious art

Pope Francis, his crucifix and the Virgin Mary: miraculous or merely traditional?

Art history removes the numinous from art. At the Vatican’s Covid-19 blessing we saw it invoked again

News
Diary of an art historian

Is art history becoming too woke?

Discussion around Yale's decision to pull its introductory survey course reveals unnerving trend for "morally appropriate" studies

Review
Books

The case is made for connoisseurs and their role in art history

The practice of connoisseurship, which, the author Frédéric Elsig argues, is a skill that can be learned, is examined in relation to 15th-and 16th-century painting

Blog
Diary of an art historian

What can mysterious markings in stone teach us about British art?

Research for a new book begins with a pilgrimage to find prehistoric rock art in northern England

Comment
Education

‘Art history is a global discipline’

The head of Yale’s art history department explains the university’s decision to change its introductory survey course

Review
Book Shorts

So you think you know your art? Brain teasers to test your knowledge of famous works

This puzzle book includes 36 of art history's best known pieces, from Botticelli’s Primavera to Van Gogh’s Starry Night

News
Art education

Is art history under threat? UK universities see 28.5% drop in the subject in past decade

Latest figures show decline in first year students choosing humanities degrees in favour of business, agriculture and medicine

Review
Books

A neuroscientist's view: how Bacon's paintings shake up the nervous system

Publication focuses on what neuroscience and psychology bring to the table with the late artist's works

Review
Books

Demanding artists and receptive architects in book about design and function of the studio

This book shows how, from the end of the 19th century to the Second World War, artists collaborated with architects to craft an image of themselves

Blog
Diary of an art historian

Did the buyer of the Salvator Mundi get played—or did we?

What better way to boost its star power than by making it "disappear" for a few months?

Review
Book Shorts

From Rivera and Kahlo to Ulay and Abramović—this story book tells the tales of art world couples

Famous and not-so-famous pairs of artists from Picasso and Gilot to Idris Khan and Annie Morris are quoted about how relationships work

Review
Book Shorts

A collection of 50 contemporary artists’ favourite works of art

Book looks at what they like and how they think it helps their own work

Analysis
Architecture

Notre Dame is unstable: a strong wind could make the walls collapse, independent report says

The current approach to its restoration fails to take account of the interconnected structural “engineering” of Gothic architecture

Review
Book Shorts

Dead kings and queens and where to find them

A dictionary of the burial places of the English and Scottish kings and queens (and their relations)

Podcast

Ruskin and Gombrich: revisiting two art historical heavyweights

Amid a wealth of events celebrating the bicentenary of John Ruskin’s birth we reconsider the breadth of his achievements. Plus, we talk to two experts in E.H. Gombrich. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793.

News
Tate Modern

Tate partners with Hyundai to promote non-Western art

New research centre project means South Korean motor company is now probably the largest corporate sponsor of visual arts for UK museums

News
Gustav Klimt

Experts pour cold water on Klimt discovery in Hungary

Designer who unearthed the plaster relief attributes it to the Austrian artist

News
Catalogues

Cataloguing Egon Schiele: a digital work in progress

Database allows scholars to make rapid connections between works

Blog
Diary of an art historian

The public deserves to see restorations laid bare

London's National Gallery and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam are both documenting repairs of major works—plus a personal conservation confession

News
Museums & Heritage

In a Met protest, an artist posts her own labels next to a Picasso and Gauguin

She calls on museum to incorporate misogyny into the art historical narrative

Preview
Collecting

Giampietro Campana assembled the greatest private collection of his age—then lost the lot

A new show at the Musée du Louvre reunites 500 of the collector's artefacts, showing his admiration for Italian art across the ages

News
Conservation & Preservation

Warship figureheads restored ahead of opening for new Plymouth arts complex

Royal Navy statues are being made shipshape and ready for installation at The Box, opening in 2020

Comment
Art market

The all-powerful market is sounding the death knell for connoisseurship

Today, art history is increasingly being written by dealers and auctioneers to suit their own purpose

News
Thomas Gainsborough

Murders most foul: Gainsborough family revenge killings trigger reassessment of artist’s early years

New research reveals that two members of Thomas Gainsborough's family were killed over a financial dispute when the artist was a child

Feature
Exhibitions

Beacons of empathy: the forgotten women who brought the Foundling Museum to life

The portraits of men in the London museum's picture gallery are being replaced by portraits of women who supported a vision to protect young children

Review
Books

Chicago’s art history, revised

An essay collection illuminates a rich and, ultimately, countercultural legacy

Interview
Art history

Reliving the dawn of Modernism in India

An art historian explores the importance of the pathbreaking Progressive Artists’ Group, the focus of an exhibition opening at Asia Society

Archive
Exhibitions

A long history of scholarship drives survey of Raphael’s drawings currently exhibited at the Ashmolean

Debate over attribution has marked modern scholarship on this great master, bringing nuance to the Oxford show

Archive
Exhibitions

Germany marks the 500th anniversary of Luther’s Theses

Several exhibits are taking place across the country, including the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin

Archive
Exhibitions

Winckelmann's impact on modern concepts of art history is celebrated in Weimar

The man who wrote art history is remembered 300 years after his birth

Archive
Exhibitions

Chinese institutions work with the Metropolitan for groundbreaking exhibition

'Age of Empires' explores the art of the Qin and Han dynasties

Archive
Exhibitions

Statens Museum for Kunst assesses how Northern Europeans interpreted Japan

Japanomania returns once more to Copenhagen as the exhibition looks at how Nordic artists used Japanese art in their own work

Archive
Caravaggio

Books: Caravaggio's diametrically opposed contexts in conflict

Across two books, the master's work is interpreted in divergent, not diverse, ways

Archive
Photography

Photo shows that made history

As a new book surveys landmark photographic exhibitions, museums are only starting to catch up with the digital revolution of the medium

Archive
Books

Books: Two books explore newer ways of seeing the world (and art) with varying degrees of success

Where Ossian Ward provides a handy guide, Charles Saatchi fails to impress

Archive
Books

Books: Have curators and collectors replaced critics? Paul Wood demystifies while Alistair Hicks disappoints

Two very different books speak to a worrying trend in the critique of art

Archive
Art Basel

Art Basel follows Frieze’s lead with display covering art-historical endeavours

Survey, which will debut at Art Basel Miami Beach, uses Frieze Masters as its template

Archive
Books

Books: A far from academic set-up at the Académie royale

The Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture promoted “diversity of manners” rather than stylistic unity

News
Exhibitions

More questions than answers after ‘miraculous’ Russian avant-garde show

Specialists express concern about lack of provenance for works by artists including Rodchenko and Goncharova in Italian exhibition

Archive
Collectors

The forgotten collectors: Five significant 19th-century collectors

The contributions of tobacco heiresses and banking magnates explored

Archive
News

Great War memorials go online for first time

The project has already documented around 2,000 works

Archive
Activism

Ethics and aesthetics: the increasing prominence of socially engaged art

Away from the glitz of record-breaking auction prices and extravagant art parties, austerity has given strength to a new movement of socially engaged artists

Archive
Books

Books: How Warburg helped to invent the exhibition—and the curator

The art historian’s collected writings include an illuminating essay drawn from his dazzling, lengthy lectures

Archive
San Francisco

How printmaking made Rembrandt an international star

New technology and growing middle class consumption opened up his works and those of his contemporaries to new markets

Archive
Forgeries

Books: The fake’s progress from a sign of genius to a nefarious act... and back again

The history and scholarship of art forgery, and a faker’s delighted account of a life of deception

Archive
Moscow

How a group of dissident artists was almost catapulted to international stardom by a marketing error

The story of Moscow's underground art of the 1970s

Archive
Art & Technology

Who’s in the picture? Anti-terror software might tell us

Face recognition software used to spot terrorists may be the answer to identifying unknown sitters in portraits.

Archive
Photography

Books: A heavyweight volume trawls the archives of Magnum Photos to celebrate a once revolutionary, now dying technique

In between the (contact) sheets

Archive
National Gallery

Books: The National Gallery’s latest Technical Bulletin makes some great discoveries

The volume is a compendium of papers presented at the Gallery in September 2009

Archive
Lucas Cranach the Elder

Why the art world is crazy about Cranach

New technology is shedding light on an Old Master as the prolific, multi-talented artist enjoys a renaissance

Archive
Books

Books: Art not made by artists and trends in art production

When artists subcontract technicians to make the works they design, who’s the artist?

Archive
BBC

Art in the media: Alastair Sooke inspires, Matthew Collings takes a swipe at Tracey Emin and Martin Creed fails to enlighten

Plus, Stephen Fry as Pope Innocent X

Archive
Books

Books in brief: British and Irish Art, 1945-51

Despite some factual inaccuracies, this is a refreshing and invigorating presentation that challenges assumptions

Archive
Ford Madox Brown

Books: A portrait of Ford Madox Brown through his four 'loves'

A study of the women who had the greatest impact on the life and work of Ford Madox Brown

Archive
Victoria & Albert Museum

Books: The continuities in Medieval and Renaissance art at the V&A

A deep look into the remarkable objects now on display in the museum's recently opened galleries

Archive
Books

Books: What does Pre-Raphaelite mean?

This collection of essays questions how we understand the terms Pre-Raphaelite, Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Movement

Archive
Opinion

Saving the ephemeral art gallery: The director of Tate Liverpool on preserving institutional history

'History is unpredictable, and we cannot know which obscure artist or minor exhibition may once be regarded as a groundbreaking historical event'

Archive
Books

Books: A girl’s own 18th-century art adventure as Grace Mashall strives to be a painter

The Fraud, by Barbara Ewing, spins a tale of lies and intrigue

Archive
Interviews

Interview with Robert Storr: Most theory has little bearing on art

The critic and curator spoke to The Art Newspaper about the role of art theory, and what advice he is giving to his students in today’s artistic climate.

Archive
Books

Books: Material culture and medieval "Hindu-Muslim" encounter

Objects of translation and the cultural interactions of Muslims and Hindus in the late 12th and early 13th centuries

Archive
Restitution

Books: How we got the loot back from the Nazis

The story of the US Monuments Men

Archive
Books

Thomas Kabdebo's "Tracking Giorgione" reviewed

The author is hindered by his own technique

Archive
Books

Books: French culture under the Nazis

How artists and the arts fared under the Vichy regime and the German occupation of France, 1940-44

Archive
Exhibitions

The Cold War may be over, but it is still being fought in terms of its artists

With LACMA's “Art of Two Germanys/Cold War Cultures” opening soon, the artistic heritage of Germany is again under the microscope

Archive
Films

Art in the media: Light and dark after the war at the Ferus Gallery and in the art of Georg Baselitz

Ostensibly disparate films illuminate art after the end of World War II

Archive
Women Artists

New York’s women on film

Chiara Clemente's "Our City Dreams" at Art Basel

Archive
Books

The Art of Domestic Life: This well-argued study considers the changing status of women in family portraits

'That’s no lady, that’s my wife…'

Archive
Books

Books: Two new books both fail to make a persuasive case for or against the status and quality of Modigliani’s art

Love him or hate him? Whatever…

Archive
Peter Paul Rubens

The real meaning of Rubens’ women

A new analysis suggests the artist was sending mixed messages in his work

Archive
Books

The art world’s Christmas reading

Artists, collectors, critics, museum directors and auction house executives pick their holiday books

Archive
Books

Books: Two books attempt to correct views of pre-Raphaelite art—held by no one

Traditional understandings of the brotherhood are addressed, again

Archive
Books

The new Dictionary of National Biography is much more comprehensive than the Victorian original it replaces

More artists, more women, more sex

Archive
Glassblowing

The spread of Venetian glass-making techniques and styles across Europe, from the 15th to the 18th centuries

How cristallo conquered the continent

Archive
Art & Technology

The story of the Thornham Parva retable shows how technology is increasingly influencing art history

Conservation and connoisseurship joined at the altar

Archive
Books

Klaske Muizelaar and Derek Phillips, Picturing men and women in the Dutch Golden Age

A review of the new volume on Dutch painting

Archive
Books

Germaine Greer’s synopsis of pubescent males in art is flawed, but fun

Beautiful boys—now available for women, too

Archive
Exhibitions

Modigliani and the artists of Montparnasse at the Albright Knox Art Gallery

Exhibition in Buffalo shows 60 works by the master

Archive
Books

Books: American art from Norsemen to Culture Wars

A well-written history of art in North America for students

Archive
Amedeo Modigliani

Letter: Modigliani needs art historical approach

Dr Kenneth Wayne says scholarship is the way forward

Archive
Philosophy

Danto explains why there are no constraints on what a work of art looks like today but why the critic has also become essential to its making

A commentary on the end of art

Archive
Publications

The publication of 'The splendour of Iran' is a landmark of the independence of native academics.

Archaeologically, architecturally and art-historically, Iran is very much on the move

Archive
Books

Peeling potatoes, painting pictures: women artists in post-Soviet Russia, Estonia and Latvia

Renée Baigell and Matthew Baigell's book reviewed

Archive
Books

Books: Latest assessment of Anselm Kiefer proves to be a book without a spine

An uncritical, adoring treatment of the artist has not served him well

Archive
Byzantium

"Women in purple: rulers of medieval Byzantium"

A review of Judith Herrin's new book

Archive
Leonardo da Vinci

The public may decide the fate of Leonardo’s “Adoration of the Magi”

Antonio Paolucci states he will halt the Uffizi’s planned restoration of the painting if he hears convincing arguments as to why it should not take place

Archive
Tate Modern

Questionable curatorial decisions favour words over image in Tate Modern's new hang

Tate: Meeting Place or Museum?

Archive
Walter Sickert

A new book explores Walter Sickert's innovative work as a printmaker

Nine years of painstaking research have revealed this technically adventurous side of the artist’s work

Archive
Books

The use of American art in the Cold War

This book reveals how the CIA’s promoted US artists as a way of stopping the spread of Communism in the years after World War II

Archive
Books

Books: Expanding on Hallmark's photographic collection

This second edition includes even more of the collection, providing a fine survey of the medium in America

Archive
Medieval art

The Visual and the Visionary: Art and Female Spirituality in Late Medieval Germany

Medieval German women’s art and spirituality examined with too much of the gender-studies approach

Archive
Books

Books: Essays on sex, gender and identity in Dada

Naomi Sawelson-Gorse edits this collection on the often overlooked women of Dada

Archive
Ceramics

Two new books examine ceramics from different points of view

One is a technical and stylistic analysis; the other a cultural critique. Both are well worth a read

Archive
Surrealism

How Surrealism has shaped the self-portraits of three generations of women artists

Women and Surrealism at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art