Observations: Annie Kevans - There's more to these faces than meets the eye

Annie Kevans has an eye for what makes an eye-catching portrait. Her oil-on-paper likenesses look simple, almost childlike, but they come with a sting in the tail. The 36-year-old artist began painting in her final year at St Martin's with Boys, a set of pictures of dictators as children – a blue-eyed Hitler in a simple brown jacket, a wan Franco, a petulant Pol Pot. "People think it's a bit naff, really cutesy and then, oof, it's Hitler."

The Diary: Banksy, Ed Vaizey, Spandex, Van Goghs, and Gurinder Chadha

Guerilla wallfare becomes a big draw

Banksy's latest "guerilla" graffiti has been graffitied over and the wall on which the offending vandals struck removed from public view in order to "restore" Banksy's original piece of art/vandalism. An ironic outcome, which will no doubt reignite the debate on whether Banksy has become part of the "establishment".

Van Gogh's Letters: The Artist Speaks, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam<br/>The Arts of Islam, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris

Van Gogh was a prolific letter writer who illustrated his correspondence with sketches for fully-fledged pictures still to come

'I thought of drawing a square': British art's biggest names reveal the work that set them on the road to fame

From Grayson Perry's first piece of pottery to Antony Gormley's breakthrough body cast... the biggest names in British art reveal the work that set them on the road to fame while, below, Michael Glover looks at the earliest efforts of some of the world's greatest artists

Great Works: Early Morning (1825), Samuel Palmer

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Vincent van Gogh: the complete letters, Edited by Leo Jansen, Hans Luitjen and Nienke Bakker

Born into a Protestant clergyman's family, his childhood steeped in Good Book and the liturgy, this turbulent young visionary in search of a sacred vocation dives early into literature and never wants to surface. Charles Dickens becomes a lifelong friend; George Eliot a touchstone of his reverence for working folk. Though the language of the Bible guides his thoughts and shapes his style, he swims happily in the classic poetry of French, English and his native tongue. As for Victorian illustrated magazines, he loves them so much he wants to find a job with one.

Matt Stevens and Lee Mears: Coffee and sympathy all round in ballad of the sad café

As Bath's forward adapts to life outside rugby he finds his business with former team-mate Mears and Brazilian Jujitsu are proving good props in rehabilitation. Hugh Godwin speaks to Matt Stevens and Lee Mears

Juliet, Naked, By Nick Hornby

Compassionate comeback for the tracker of our tears

Consuming Issues: Free &ndash; and easy &ndash; summer holidays

Despite all the entreaties to lavish money on smart phones and Thai spa breaks, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy yourself without opening your wallet. While the summer holidays – and the recession – are in full swing, here are some free ideas:

My Secret Life: Maggi Hambling, artist, 63

My parents were ... complicated, snobbish, sexually ambivalent. I've forgiven them, as they forgave me. Life is too short.

Alice Jones: The messy climax of confessional art

No feeling or whim is now too trivial to be immortalised in oil or pencil

I Bet You Think This Song is About You...

Open letters to lost lovers, dark hints at lust for friends' wives, or selected because they offer opportunites for a rhyme? Ben Walsh delves into the tunes that name names ...

Powerful pigments: An exhibition dedicated to colour

Tate Liverpool's latest exhibition dedicated to colour is dazzling. But they could have thrown even more into the mix, says Tom Lubbock

Tom Sutcliffe: To hell with art, look at that brawl

The Week In Culture

Was truth the biggest casualty in the case of Vincent and his severed ear?

It wasn't self-mutilation &ndash; and Gauguin was to blame, say German art historians
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones