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
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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?