Arts and Entertainment

The national appetite for art and art spaces seems insatiable. When Tate Modern was unveiled in 2000, two million annual visits were expected; today more than five million visitors a year pour through its Thames-side doors.

Blitzed Paul Delaroche artwork restored for show

Wartime curators bemoaned the loss of a great work when they rolled up the remains of Delaroche’s monumental painting, ‘Charles I Insulted by Cromwell’s Soldiers’ that had been pounded by shrapnel after a lethal bombing raid during the Blitz in 1941 which left the Bridgwater House – where the work had hung – decimated.

The Hoerengracht, National Gallery, London

The National Gallery is the unlikely setting for an artistic re-creation of Amsterdam's red-light district

The National Gallery: An Illustrated History, By Alan Crookham

Archivist Alan Crookham takes us from the gallery's birth in 1838 ( with its sum collection of 38 works) to the appointment of Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, its first director, whose grand tour around Europe to amass artworks may leave the current incumbent, Nicholas Penny, green-eyed with envy.

National Gallery: Put on the red light

In a life-size take on Amsterdam's sex district at the National Gallery, there's plenty of sleaze – and puritanism, too, finds Tom Lubbock

Philip Hensher: But that was in another country...

Sometimes, when I'm in Berlin, I seem to glimpse the ghost of a different city inhabiting these same streets. In Prenzlauer Berg, behind the gleamingly restored Jugendstil apartment blocks and chic restaurants serving Sunday brunches, there rises up a shabby, grey street with a single cellar bar; behind the lavish grandeur of Unter Den Linden, the sight of a pathetic shop, its wares pushed to the front, two quiet assistants following passers-by with their eyes. Friedrichstrasse, going in the direction of Kreuzberg, has a slight kink; in the mind's eye a cabin rises up, a barrier, a 10-foot wall, the sign "YOU ARE NOW LEAVING THE AMERICAN SECTOR".

The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600-1700, National Gallery, London

Sacred images pull more punches in two dimensions than in three, as an exhibition both absorbing and repellent powerfully shows

48 Hours In: Helsinki

Art and design are among the many autumn attractions of Finland's compact and elegant capital

Last Night's Television - Framed, BBC1; Hardcore Profits, BBC2

Risqué business

The National Gallery: a short history, By Charles Saumarez Smith

Painting battles in Trafalgar Square

Letters: Democracy in Iran

Iranian elections put UK democracy to shame

Art of forgery: Fakes, mistakes and discoveries at the National

Gallery to stage its first exhibition dedicated exclusively to fakes and mistakes – and, its director insists, they can be a pure joy

Corot to Monet, National Gallery, London

The world's most famous school of painting has a political history that is satisfyingly explained in this clever show

Observations: Night time is the right time

The V&A and Tate have been running regular "lates" – staying open beyond normal museum hours for some time. Now, for one weekend only, more than 130 museums, galleries and heritage sights around the country are joining in, as part of the Museums at Night initiative.

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