Arts and Entertainment Technicians hanging 'Three studies of Isabel Rawsthorne' by Francis Bacon, estimated to fetch 10 million pounds

Masterworks by British contemporary art giants Francis Bacon and David Hockney will go under the hammer today in a £66 million bonanza.

John Plumb: Abstract painter showcased in the 1960 exhibition 'Situation'

If proof were needed that success can blight a painter's career, then the life of John Plumb would provide it in spades. Plumb scored his first triumph as an artist 60 years ago when a portrait of his future wife, Joan Lawrence, was chosen for exhibition at the New English Art Club. The 21-year-old painter was then still a student at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London; a decade later, he was having solo shows at the trend-setting Gallery One in London. In September 1960, Plumb's fame peaked with his inclusion in the Royal Society of British Artists' exhibition "Situation".

Joan Bakewell: Macmillan could afford to be optimistic in his day

Harold Macmillan is with us again, stalking the stage of the National Theatre in the totally convincing person of Jeremy Irons... the same long, lean gait, the bristling moustache, the body language displaying breeding and charm.

Ship's passengers stranded in bomb alert

Nearly 150 ferry passengers and 101 crew were stranded on ships in the River Mersey today after a large bomb was seen floating in the water.

THOMAS SUTCLIFFE: Steel yourself for a conversation

Walking round Tate Britain's Sir Anthony Caro retrospective I was struck by an obvious thought. Regrettably, this kind of collision is far more common than sudden impacts with the dazzlingly original or the conceptually unprecedented, but you have to work with what you get, don't you?

Art critics? Give me a gifted amateur any day

`The average product of the professional writer on art is, at best, dull; at worst, gibberish'

Critics' Awards 1999 - Visual Arts: No one was big enough

When archaeologists of the new millennium come to excavate the art of 1999, they will doubtless dub it the Year of Tracey's Bed. This will say more about the fin de siecle than they know. In 1998, the Turner Prize behaved as it always had. The Prize is sponsored by a media company and was won, as you would expect, by the work that had attracted the most odium in the press: namely several pieces of elephant dung, coincidentally attached to some rather well-painted canvases. In '99, though, something went wrong. Tracey's Bed - skidmarks! vodka bottles! (gasp) menstrual blood! - was the stuff of televisual dreams: yet it lost to the considered work of Steve McQueen. Was this the end of celebrity art?

Real Choices: Before the week is out ...

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Bowie's hand, Emin's legs, Bremner's voice

THE ART world is to be given a rare opportunity to compare and contrast the work of bad girl Tracey Emin with the more conventional style of HRH the Prince of Wales.

Visual Arts: Fragments of time, preserved as if in amber

The works of Charles Christopher Hill, painstakingly built up over many months, have a unique, shimmering playfulness.

Leading article: The shock of the old

THERE IS one constant about cutting-edge artists. They are robust in their defence of the shock of the new while it is they who are new and doing the shocking. But, all too predictably, they become champions of artistic tradition when a new generation threatens to eclipse their own shock value. Generational tensions have been there since the Renaissance, when Titian reputedly chucked that young upstart Tintoretto out of his studio.

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British masters on show in miniature

AN EXHIBITION featuring original works by some of Britain's greatest contemporary artists opened in London yesterday, but all the paintings were only one inch wide.

Obituary: Alex Gregory-Hood

NOTHING COULD have been more surprising and in its own way more exotic for the London art world than the sudden arrival on the British contemporary art scene in 1962 of Alex Gregory-Hood as director of a new gallery in Lowndes Street, Belgravia.

SPORT ON TV: After the Snickometer, bring on the box-cam

SILLY OLD Channel 4. They go to all that trouble and expense to wrest the cricket from the BBC's despairing grasp, and all for what? For highlights of England v New Zealand, that's what.
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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor