Yale £11.99 (176pp) (free p&p) from 0870 079 8897
If Paintings Could Talk, By Michael Wilson
Friday 23 January 2009
Though alphabetic in order, this reader-friendly guide to the National Gallery is unconventional in every other respect. Under "Comeback Queen", we find Delaroche's 1833 narrative painting "The Execution of Lady Jane Grey". Lost in the gallery's cellar for 50 years, it was enthusiastically received when resurrected in 1973.
Even more of an embarrassment is Van Gogh's "Long Grass with Butterflies" (1890), categorised under "Topsy-Turvy". In 1965, a 15-year-old schoolgirl pointed out that it was upside down. "Oh, and how do you know?" said the dismissive chief attendant. A postcard proved her right.
We learn why Constable's "Hay Wain" is in a stream: it prevented wood joints drying out in summer. Packed with interest, this work is a rarity: an art book that will be read.
Art Somebody is going around telling people he's Banksy - but it isn't the street artist
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him Wembley Stadium tickets after that rant
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Costa Book Awards 2015: H is for Hawk named book of the year
Run DMC's Darryl McDaniels: 'Kendrick Lamar is killing it, but radios are too afraid to play him'
Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures