England, My England

Nige watches Tony Palmer's curious 1995 film about Henry Purcell and finds that the music triumphs over the clunking polemics... On Christmas Day in 1995, Channel 4's TV treat was a two and a half hour film about Henry Purcell (how times change!). I didn't watch England, My England at the ... Read More...

John Singer Sargent at the National Portrait Gallery

For sheer painterly pleasure, Nige says you can't do better than visit the John Singer Sargent exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, running until 25 May... To the National Portrait Gallery for the John Singer Sargent exhibition, Portraits of Artists and Friends, which is, unsurprisingly, brilliant. Such dash, such effortless technical mastery, ... Read More...

Peder Balke at the National Gallery

Nige is blown away by Norwegian painter Peder Balke's masterly seascapes, in an exhibition currently showing at London's National Gallery... I admit I'd never heard of Peder Balke before reading about this exhibition. Balke was a Norwegian painter (1804-87) whose mature style was so heavily criticised in his day that he ... Read More...

The Dabbler’s Guide to Spiral (BBC Four)

If you're following the latest series of Spiral on BBC Four, or wondering whether to start watching from the beginning, here's Brit's introductory guide to the French cop show... The first thing to say about Spiral (in France: Engrenages, meaning not in fact ‘Spiral’ but ‘Gears’) is that it offers the ... Read More...