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Why Anthony van Dyck was summoned to paint a recently deceased noblewoman

This extract from a new book about works in the Dulwich Picture Gallery by Helen Hillyard and Jennifer Scott reveals the story behind the artist's 1663 portrait of Lady Digby

Helen Hillyard and Jennifer Scott. With an introduction by José da Silva
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‘We never even bid one dollar’: Sheikha Al-Mayassa discusses Salvator Mundi and controversy around Damien Hirst’s foetus works in new book

An extract from a new publication about collectors by Dani Levinas features rare insights from the chair of Qatar Museums

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Purple-nosed dogs, a haemorrhoid ‘cure’ and a sunken fleet: a history of dyes as colourful as its subject

Four excerpts from a book by Lauren MacDonald exploring the myths and origins of familiar colours

Lauren MacDonald. With an introduction by José da Silva
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Anna Atkins and the algae: how the first photobook was made in the mid-1800s

In an extract from an essay accompanying a newly published facsimile, Peter Walther tells the story of how this remarkable publication came about

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The story behind Sol LeWitt’s rarely seen wall drawings in a medieval tower

An extract from an essay by the art historian Rye Dag Holmboe explains how the US artist’s works ended up in the Umbrian city of Spoleto

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Extract | When the Picasso was almost knocked off the wall during a blockbuster show

A new memoir by Patrick Bringley details what it was like to work as a guard at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art

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‘That’s not enough’: Willem de Kooning’s advice to a young Wayne Thiebaud

An excerpt from one of Thiebaud’s final interviews, which features in the catalogue of a survey at the Fondation Beyeler, reveals how the US artist arrived at his signature style

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A daring Sargent portrait and the millions that changed everything for Isabella Stewart Gardner

An extract from a biography of the US collector and museum founder looks at how her modest taste was transformed by her inheritance and why her husband was not pleased by a revealing painting

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Fertile inspiration: how the humble egg has played an enduring role in women’s art

This except from Taschen's new book The Gourmand’s Egg: A Collection of Stories and Recipes shows how artists including Judy Chicago and Sarah Lucas have used egg imagery

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Extract | Surrealism’s tricky global transformation

The art historian Partha Mitter looks at Surrealism’s uneasy relationship with colonialism and primitivism in this extract from a catalogue accompanying a new Tate show about the movement’s worldwide impact

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Extract | Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing and painting tips

The Old Master’s advice is among the fascinating facts and illuminating anecdotes gathered in a new compendium called Artifacts

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Extract | What should we do about paintings with racist titles?

In a new book of cultural essays, the Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan ponders whether we should change offensive names given to art—and what that might say about us

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Extract | How the colours in ancient Pompeian frescoes ‘spoke’ to Mark Rothko

A new book by the art historian Ben Street attempts to demystify how we look at art and argues for reacting instinctively to what we see

Extract | How Mayor Rudy Giuliani went from ‘patting on the back’ to trying to pull the plug on Sensation show

Two decades after one of the most controversial exhibitions of recent times, Arnold Lehman, the former director of the Brooklyn Museum, reveals all in a new book

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Extract | A rare pamphlet from a historic Black art exhibition by the Spiral collective

The text accompanied the group's only show and is now one of several texts about Black art brought together in a new book The Soul of Nation Reader

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Extract | William Blake’s famous flop of an exhibition and the critic who described him as ‘an unfortunate lunatic’

A new book by John Higgs paints a picture of the mixed reviews that the 18th-century artist received and touches upon the “Holy Grail of his lost works”

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Extract | The day Anthony van Dyck received ‘wise advice from the words of a blind woman’—the 17th-century artist Sofonisba Anguissola

New book by Jennifer Higgie gives astute insights into brilliant women artists shut out of art history

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Extract | How Sandro Botticelli brought Dante’s Divine Comedy to life

New book by Martin Kemp considers the impact of poet’s vision of divine light on artists such as Michelangelo and Titian

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Read what Jenny Saville, George Condo and Victoria Beckham have to say about their favourite Old Master paintings

Exclusive extracts from a new book bringing together texts by 62 cultural figures describing their preferred works in the Frick Collection

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Extract | Why I made Love is the Message—Arthur Jafa describes the inspiration for his seminal film

In a recently published Cahiers d’Art monograph, the US artist speaks about responding to “a tsunami of footage of Black people getting killed”

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Extract | How artist couple Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore resisted the Nazis with their ‘paper bullets’

New book outlines the campaign led by the gender-fluid artists on the island of Jersey during the Second World War

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Extract | The Guerrilla Girls say ‘get mad and keep up the fight’

An exclusive excerpt and images from a new book chronicling 35 years of “creative complaining” by the US-based feminist art collective

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Extract | Philip Guston’s fascination with the ‘funnies’ was key to developing his distinctive later style

An exclusive excerpt from a forthcoming biography by art historian Robert Storr looks at the influence of comics as well as caricatures that the American-Canadian artist made of his contemporaries

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Extract | Tribal identity, Tories and Tracey Emin: Grayson Perry reveals (even more) in updated book

Excerpts from the expanded monograph include how he was inspired by outsider art and the stresses of building a “Taj Mahal on the River Stour”

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Extract | The late Peter Beard on being the only photographer to capture Francis Bacon’s work in progress

An excerpt, photographs and collages from the photographer’s re-released book