Art resource of the week

As much of the nation home educates, there are some stimulating ways art can help. You can even still visit the British Museum – virtually. An easy-to-negotiate walk through of this vast gallery of world art and history with Google Street View is just one of the ways learners can explore it from home, as well as searching the collection, plus plenty of blogs and podcasts. There’s something for all ages, and infinite wonders to inspire.
British Museum, London


One way to broaden art skills and ideas is to get your child to try out new methods. Charcoal ain’t exactly new – it’s been used since the stone age – but it offers a new slant on drawing and is comparatively cheap as art materials go. Other ways to create and make a mess include gouache, tempera, oils and pastels. Home art doesn’t have to stop at poster paints.
Winsor and Newton, £4.50

David Hockney and Martin Gayford: A History of Pictures for Children
Hockney’s clear and unpretentious vision of art and its story makes this excellent for children aged seven and up.
Thames and Hudson, £14.95

National Gallery Top Trumps
I got cross playing this with my daughter at Christmas – how can Rousseau beat Leonardo da Vinci? – but it’s a fast, fun way to see a lot of artists and artworks.
National Gallery Shop, £5.99

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Teenagers trapped at home may find Oscar Wilde’s macabre and comic story of art, obsession, sin and queerness a captivating read.
Discovering literature: Dorian Gray

Image of the week

Diva by Juliana Notari at an art park in Mata Sul Pernambucana, Brazil.
Diva by Juliana Notari at an art park in Mata Sul Pernambucana, Brazil. Photograph: Carlos Ezequiel Vannoni/EPA

A 33-metre reinforced concrete vulva sparked a backlash in Brazil, with supporters of the country’s far-right president clashing with leftwing art admirers over the installation. The handmade sculpture, entitled Diva, was unveiled by visual artist Juliana Notari on Saturday at a rural art park on the grounds of a former sugar mill in Pernambuco, one of Brazil’s most culturally vibrant states. Notari said the scarlet hillside vulva was intended to “question the relationship between nature and culture in our phallocentric and anthropocentric western society” and provoke debate over the “problematisation of gender”. But the artwork provoked angry and often obscene reactions as thousands of critics – many seemingly Jair Bolsonaro supporters – flooded the artist’s Facebook page with their ire. Read more here.

What we learned

The destruction of brutalist architecture in the north of England prompted outcry

The Whitney is shining a light on the Kamoinge Workshop – a collective of photographers who have documented black culture since the 60s

Tanks, skulls and cigar-smoking pigs feature in Beijing’s burgeoning graffiti scene

Villa Audi in Beirut showed a collection of works damaged and destroyed by August’s huge port blast

Grand Designs is hamming up the gothic drama

British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare is to create a sculpture in memory of David Oluwale, who drowned after harassment by police

A 33-metre concrete sculpture of a vulva sparked a political row in Brazil

Reclusive Belgian Fashion legend Martin Margiela is making a comeback as an artist

Photographer Tom Goldner found beauty in the aftermath of wildfire destruction

Artist Aaron Thompson showed off his vintage carrier bag collection

Ute Mahler’s images showed the real East Germany of the 1970s and 80s

The Observer’s best photographs in December included Weruche Opia, Gemma Arterton and Joe Wicks

Masterpiece of the week

Titus the artist's son
Photograph: Alamy

Titus, the Artist’s Son (c1657) by Rembrandt
Titus was about 16 when his father portrayed him looking out of darkness with unforgettably direct intelligence, his eyes sensitive and gentle. It’s one of those Rembrandt paintings that, when you see it in real life, holds you in an almost supernatural way as Titus seems so conscious, so alive. His father’s hopes for him are touching: the young man wears an honorific chain and noble clothes. Titus was in fact working as an art dealer in partnership with Hendrickje Stoffels, Rembrandt’s lover, at this time. They’d formed the business to sell Rembrandt’s art after he was declared bankrupt. So there’s gratitude and admiration here for a son who stepped up.
Wallace Collection, London

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