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

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.

Great Works: Early Morning (1825), Samuel Palmer

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss