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

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

Not a lot to like, but plenty to admire

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.

Wallonia: A kaleidoscope of sights

Head to Southern Belgium for a huge array of attractions, says Harriet O’Brien
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Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities