Van Gogh: A stroke of genius

A revelatory new Van Gogh exhibition in Amsterdam might just be the best ever staged

Robert Bevan and the Cumberland Market Group, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal

A year ago, an exhibition at Tate Britain reminded us of the existence of the Camden Town Group of painters. Their art, chiefly urban in subject matter, represented a low-key British version of post-Impressionism. It sputtered into, and out of, life just before the First World War.

Van Gogh and the Colours of the Night, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Folklore turned Van Gogh into a tortured loon, but the truth is in his work, and fantasies are pointless

If Paintings Could Talk, By Michael Wilson

Though alphabetic in order, this reader-friendly guide to the National Gallery is unconventional in every other respect. Under "Comeback Queen", we find Delaroche's 1833 narrative painting "The Execution of Lady Jane Grey". Lost in the gallery's cellar for 50 years, it was enthusiastically received when resurrected in 1973.

My secret life: Juliet Stevenson

Actress, 52

Lucrezia Borgia is unmasked... in Australia

First portrait of Renaissance Italy's most notorious femme fatale identified after years of research

Auction reveals the secret life of Spike Milligan

Personal effects to be sold at auction give an intimate insight into the comedian's life. Jerome Taylor reports

Spot the difference: the 'genuine fake' masterpieces

John Myatt was jailed for forgeries that fooled the auction houses. Now he has a 'genuine fakes' exhibition. Arifa Akbar reports

Art forgers: What lies beneath

Forgers have been conning the art world for generations - but now a new detection system can spot even the best fakes, says Jimmy Lee Shreeve

The portrait that Van Gogh did not want the world to see

For more than 120 years, the image of the peasant woman lay undiscovered. Her creator, the Dutch master Vincent van Gogh, must have assumed she would be hidden forever.

Gustav Klimt: the Tate's much-hyped new show reveals a painter who's all style and no substance

I should say, straight out, that I'm not an admirer, and later on I'll be being rude. But many people must be looking forward to this show. Since the great Art Nouveau revival of the 1960s, Gustav Klimt has become one of our favourite painters. Once his feasts of flesh and opulent decoration were a purely Viennese delicacy. Now The Kiss hangs on bedroom walls across the world.

Hughie O'Donoghue: The Geometry of Paths, James Hyman Gallery, London

Van Gogh meets RAF bombers

Cultural Life: Tony Parsons, author

Books
I am working my way through everything Cormac McCarthy has written, and right now I am 100 pages in to The Road, about a father and son making their way across America after some eco-nightmare, and it is awesome. My non-fiction book is the autobiography of Teddy Atlas, the boxing trainer – Atlas From the Streets to the Ring: a Son's Struggle to Become a Man. The best book I have read over the last year is The Book of Dave by Will Self, which is just so imaginative, funny, gripping and sly. It would have won the Booker if literary life in this country wasn't such a racket.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us