The Frenchman who taught Lowry how to paint matchstick men

The work of Adolphe Valette has been little known, until now, says Jonathan Brown

The Frenchman who taught Lowry how to paint matchstick men

For decades they have hung in the homes of art lovers across northern England, their true value scarcely even guessed at by their owners.

Wind denies town giant heart work on a rope

The residents of Folkestone don't know how close they came to having to live in the shadow of a huge balloon shaped like a human heart, looming over the town centre.

The Wallingers that were just too wacky – even for him

New book reveals the avant-garde artist's works that failed to get off drawing board

Create a work of art that's worth £60,000? There's nothing to it

With its black square surrounding a blank canvas, the British minimalist Bob Law's 1969 work Nothing To Be Afraid Of V, expected to sell this month for £60,000, might seem the ultimate case of artistic daylight robbery. Not according to some art critics, who leapt to Law's defence yesterday.

The comedy of horror

George Condo's unsettling paintings have often been controversial, but two new exhibitions show his work's profundity. By Arifa Akbar

George Condo: The comedy of horror

George Condo's unsettling paintings have often led to accusations of insolence, but two new exhibitions reveal the profundity of his work

Imelda May: 'The 1950s were better in every way, don't you think?'

The experts all told her to ditch the rockabilly music. Now, the singer tells Nick Duerden how she's proved the doubters wrong, why she snubbed the Queen and what the Obamas gave her to keep her sweet

Why painting the Forth Bridge isn't like painting the Forth Bridge any more

When the Forth Bridge opened in Scotland in 1890, its English architects didn't know their pioneering structure would come to stand as a 20th century retelling of the myth of Sisyphus.

Pleasures of the flesh: William Etty's nudes

The lascivious quality of William Etty's nudes has always aroused suspicion. But look beyond the controversy and you'll find skill and warmth, says Adrian Hamilton

Fast forward to the ballet: Degas at the RA

Just how to depict speed and movement became an obsession for artists in the 1870s, says Nina Caplan. For Degas, the answer lay in the intimate world of women and dance

Joan Smith: It's the aristo that was the Bard – or maybe the giant lizard

Poor old William Shakespeare hasn't had much luck in movies. He didn't get his girl in the truly appalling Shakespeare in Love, and now he's about to be accused of not writing his own plays in a new Hollywood film.

The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination, By Fiona MacCarthy

Not a lot to like, but plenty to admire

Wallonia: A kaleidoscope of sights

Head to Southern Belgium for a huge array of attractions, says Harriet O’Brien
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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
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Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

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The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum