Arts and Entertainment
 

Celia Paul is the least noisy portrait painter in oils imaginable. Her subjects - which usually tend to be relatives, close friends or herself - exist within a kind of religiose hush of rapt self-absorption.

The Guillotine: Twentieth-Century Classics That Won't Last - No 28: Robert Mapplethorpe

By definition, a photographer's relationship to the objective world is less "mediated" than that of any other species of artist. It is, for the non-initiate, a question of the pecking order of by and about. Thus The Ground Beneath Her Feet is a novel by Salman Rushdie about Orpheus and Eurydice; Eyes Wide Shut is a film by Stanley Kubrick about marital tensions in contemporary Manhattan; on the other hand, a snapshot of Diana is primarily about her and only secondarily by Lord Lichfield. Diana herself is what we see, not the Lichfield touch.

The Independent Recommends: The Five Best Shows

Rembrandt by Himself (National Gallery, London)

The Independent Recommends

The Five Best Films

The Independent Recommends - The Five Best Shows

The Five Best Shows

Details competition no 424 by Tom Lubbock

Detail 422 came from Watteau's Gilles or Pierrot (1718-19). This picture of the forlorn lover of the commedia dell'arte theatre, standing out by himself in front of the show, with his strikingly round hat-halo, has often been taken as a literal, or a surrogate, self-portrait - or at least as an emblem of the lonesome artist. It is also a portrait of stupidity (note the donkey) - soulful stupidity, a passive and appealing dopeyness. There's a very close contemporary version of this look in the figure of the young man in Lucian Freud's Large Interior, W11 (after Watteau). Our picture is in the Louvre, Paris.

Arts: I was framed by Freud

A portrait of the Queen by our greatest living artist is an exciting possibility. But she won't find sitting for him easy.

Freud to paint Queen's portrait

LUCIAN FREUD, whose unforgiving portraits have earned him the reputation of the world's greatest living realist painter, has provisionally agreed to paint the Queen.

Obituary: Henrietta Moraes

AS THE model for Francis Bacon's Lying Figure with Hypodermic Syringe (1963), Henrietta Moraes was a voluptuous icon of the Soho subculture of the Fifties, sprawling across an unmade bed posing for photographs taken by John Deakin for Bacon's painting.

Grin and bare it (if you must)

Everyone's stripping off these days. Here's 10 ways to satisfy those naked ambitions.

Profile: Lucian Freud: Portrait of the artist as a happy man

Soaring prices consolidate the status of Britain's 'greatest living realist' painter. By John Spurling

Leading Article: Give elephant dung to our schoolchildren

THERE WAS a time when your standard English carper against modern art decried Picasso for doing doodles that a three-year-old could manage. Well, at least no one could say their infant could manage Chris Ofili's Turner Prize-winning paintings using elephant dung as a medium.

Fashion: Very fetching

Attractive, discreet, the perfect accessory - and they won't pooh- pooh your latest collection. Tamasin Doe reveals why a dog is a designer's best friend. Photographs by John Stoddart

Recommended: THE FIVE BEST EXHIBITIONS

THE FIVE BEST EXHIBITIONS

It's life, but not as we know it

Lucian Freud has been called the world's greatest living realist painter. But whose reality is he painting? Tom Lubbock isn't sure, but he likes what he sees

Freudian economics

Lucian Freud is 75 and arguably the nation's greatest living painter, yet he hasn't quite become the grand old man that this description might suggest. Far from it in fact. For all his celebrity and grandeur something about him has always been a bit close to the edge. On one hand he's a kind of national treasure, feted in high places and the only artist holder of the Order of Merit (a rare honour shared with the likes of Nelson Mandela and Yehudi Menuhin). On the other, he remains a dark and rather mysterious character aligned through his models - the late Leigh Bowery and Big Sue Tilley - to a kind of bohemian club culture. It is a curious contradiction, but one that reminds us that Freud is as much of a contemporary artist as any of the current crop of young fashionables that could be his grandchildren.
Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Travel
Streets ahead: Venice
travelWhat's trending on your wishlist?
News
The will of Helen Beatrix Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter, was among those to be archived
people
News
i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect