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Rubens & Women review – ‘Naked breasts moved him religiously’

Dulwich Picture Gallery, London From nuns to nobles, the Flemish artist loved painting unclothed women. But, as this staggering exhibition reveals, there’s so much more to him than frolicking nudes Maria Serra Pallavicino is a queen. Technically she’s a Marchesa. But no one could look more monarchical here, in the painting by Peter Paul Rubens. She looks down imperiously from the throne where she…

‘Our world is beautiful’: winners of the largest annual photo competition

The 10 winning images from 509,612 entries have been announced by photo printing firm Cewe. A winner has been chosen from each of the 10 categories all celebrating the ‘Our world is beautiful’ theme Continue reading...

Bon voyage! All aboard the perfect cruise – in pictures

Mounir Raji set off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in search of the ideal holiday – a world where every detail is planned to deliver comfort and pleasure Continue reading...

London apartment block that deviates from plans must be torn down, says council

‘Blight on the landscape’ in Greenwich lacks promised gardens, children’s play areas and accessibility for wheelchair users Buildings rarely look as good as the airbrushed architects’ visualisations produced to persuade planners to grant permission. Extra sharp highlights, implausibly blue skies and deeper colours are all part of the dark arts of the computer-generated rendering. But the gulf bet…

Wildfires, war and rightwing extremism: 50 years of Europe in photos, part two

The Guardian’s Europe correspondent Jon Henley and picture editor Guy Lane reflect on a half-century of upheaval Fifty years ago, Europe was divided into two hostile blocs, locked in a cold war between east and west. In the south, millions still lived under dictatorships. Denmark, Ireland and the UK had just joined a European union – bringing its membership to nine. In the five decades since, aut…

Frans Hals review – boring, lifeless portraits with flamboyant facial hair

National Gallery, London Comprehensive collection of the 17th-century painter’s work aims to place him alongside Rembrandt and Vermeer, but his technically brilliant paintings are weirdly soulless The National Gallery has put together what must be the most comprehensive array of the portraits of the 17th-century painter Frans Hals ever assembled, filling eight rooms on the museum’s main floor wit…

John Turner obituary

Architect impressed by urban squatter settlements in Peru who then set about persuading the wider world of their value In the 1950s and 60s John Turner, who has died aged 96, addressed the housing challenges faced by members of rural communities in Peru when they migrated to urban areas in search of a better life. Official planning and design approaches were neither appropriate nor affordable to …

‘It has a price’: war photographer Corinne Dufka on capturing conflict

The esteemed photographer has spend more then a decade in places such as Bosnia and Liberia, remembered in a powerful new book When the tears came, they weren’t always for the dead and the unfathomable depths of suffering. They also flowed for the times in between, for the joy and smiles of the unknowing. As the acclaimed American war photographer Corinne Dufka sorted through the pictures and neg…

Observatory built to represent Einstein’s theory of relativity reopens in Germany

Einstein Tower has undergone extensive renovations to preserve it for future generations A solar observatory built to substantiate Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity has been reopened outside the German capital after a top-to-tail renovation project to preserve it for future generations. The Einstein turm (Einstein Tower) on Telegraph Hill in Potsdam, 16 miles (25km) south-west of Berlin, spe…

Trowbridge ‘gargoyle’ finds its home in global architecture of spite

‘Spite buildings’ intended to cause irritation have a long and proud history from Beirut to Buenos Aires From view-blocking houses to nose-thumbing towers, revenge is the mortar that binds the bricks in “spite buildings”, constructed with the sole aim of causing irritation. The Al Ba’sa (The Grudge) house in Beirut, was built on a sliver of land in 1954 by one feuding brother merely to obstruct t…

Fighting stereotypes: the unexpected faces of combat sports – in pictures

Boxing and martial arts can provide a sanctuary to everyone from bullied kids to Grenfell firefighters. Aneesa Dawoojee captured their fighting spirit Continue reading...

Sarah Lucas: Happy Gas review – bulging tights, pervy plinths and kinky boots

Tate Britain, London In this gloriously filthy show, the sculptor collides old and new work to make an exhilarating cornucopia of sex, jokes and death A wax-cast erect penis is planted on a chair, and a pair of pink dentures sit upright on the other. The chairs are corralled behind a low barrier, to deter the adventurous from taking a seat and doing themselves a mischief. Those pesky Tate barrier…

Glasgow to the rescue as blast of realism brings punch to the new Scottish galleries – review

The National, Edinburgh The mountains, lochs and rivers are ravishing. But it’s the artists from Glasgow – that one-time hotbed of modernism – who bring a rawness to these lavish new galleries celebrating Scotland’s art One thing rapidly becomes clear in these lavish new purpose-built galleries of Scottish art: Scotland likes itself. Or at least, Scottish curators are far fonder of their country …

British Ceramics Biennial 2023 review – 50 shades of clay from high-flying potters

Various venues, Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme Located in what was once the beating heart of the industry, more than 50 of the best ceramicists working in Britain use squidgy forms to teach us about humanity The only thing that unites the works in the British Ceramics Biennial is that they all explore the possibilities of creating with clay. The decision to refrain from dictating an over…

‘Colours give comfort in these difficult times’: Ukraine’s Lego-inspired city – in pictures

Comfort Town is a residential area of Kyiv built on a former industrial area. It was designed to brighten up the former grey Soviet buildings from the 1950s and 60s Continue reading...
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