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Visual arts >

Art for the age of petroleum

Nicholas Cranfield on powerhouses of the throwaway society

GIUSEPPE ARCIMBOLDO (1526-93) may not exactly be a household name, but he is the witty and bizarre Italian painter best known for painting portrait heads from a mix of fruit and veg., flowers, and all manner of things. Nothing is ever quite as it seems, and there is a degree of mischief as well as brilliance in all his allegorical work (although he undertook more conventional commissions that have fallen into oblivion).

Surprisingly, he became the imperial court painter to ...

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Archbishop who was driven out of office

Holding fast in troubled waters

William Sancroft, born 400 years ago this month, was Archbishop of Canterbury in turbulent times; his period in office included incarceration in the Tower of London. John Tiller tells his story  Subscribe to read more

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Improving the future by disturbing the present

Interim minsters do much more than hold the fort: they can implement lasting change, say Helen Gheorghiu Gould and Peter Hill  Subscribe to read more

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