Banksy's reindeer and 150 years of Stonehenge snapshots – the week in art

Jonathan Jones

Exhibition of the week

Vivian Suter
The forests of Guatemala inspire Suter’s earthy and rain-marked paintings.
Tate Liverpool until 15 March.

Also showing

Your Stonehenge
Photographs taken by visitors over the last 150 years tell the story of our relationship with Britain’s most famous Neolithic monument.
Stonehenge, Wiltshire, until August.

Scotland’s Photograph Album
The social history of Scotland in the 19th and early 20th centuries as seen by pioneers of photography, including Julia Margaret Cameron and Roger Fenton.
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, until 16 February.

Ian Breakwell
Need a meditative break from all the stuff going on, political or seasonal? This video installation of a slow dance by the sea may do the trick.
The Tanks, Tate Modern, London, 14 December to 2 February.

Counter Acts
An art-school perspective on the history of the Turner prize, featuring Helen Chadwick, Jeremy Deller and more.
Lethaby Gallery, University of the Arts London, until 22 January.

Image of the week

A new artwork by Banksy appeared in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. The anonymous street artist’s Christmas creation combined jolly sentiment with genuine compassion in a way that would make Charles Dickens tingle all over. A team of reindeer painted on a wall, pulling a bench that homeless people use as a bed, was rightly popular. Within hours, it had been embellished with Rudolfian red noses.

What we learned

Maurizio Cattelan’s $120,000 banana peeled away art world artifice …

… and why performance artist David Datuna ate it

Meanwhile, Art Basel Miami would prefer to be remembered for its climate

A naked Zapata sparked a Mexican rebellion

A painting found in an Italian gallery’s wall could be a stolen Klimt

Elgin’s marble casts reveal the damage done to the Parthenon’s treasures

Queensland’s Goma sees water as the way forward

Photography is troublingly white, contends a new book

Artists assemble! Collectives are taking over

Tom Kiefer’s America is all-consuming

Pet portraits are on the rise

London is bracing itself for the Blob

Dougie Wallace sees things subversive in Shoreditch

Rivalry between Picasso and Matisse pushed the artists to greater heights

Robert Klippel’s junkyard sculptures returned to the spotlight

Humans were not centre stage in Palaeolithic art

Lynn Goldsmith’s best photograph was for Patti Smith’s Easter album

The best photographs of New York will go on sale at Bonhams

Some fine images by female street photographers are on show

Rodin’s controversial sculpture of Nijinksy was gifted to the V&A

Masterpiece of the week

Narcissus by a follower of Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, circa 1500

Narcissus by a follower of Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, circa 1500

Lavish attention has been paid to Leonardo da Vinci in his 500th anniversary year, but this painting highlights his private life in ways you might not guess from exhibitions of his religious paintings. It’s ascribed to a follower of his follower, Boltraffio, but really it’s a homage to Leonardo himself. It apes his sweet and soft style and hints heavily at his homosexuality, which was gossiped about by his first biographer Vasari in 1550 and is directly evinced by two accusations of “sodomy” against him in the archives of Florence. Vasari says that Leonardo loved young men with long curly hair, just like this youth. Narcissus is fascinated by male beauty – his own. In Greek myth, he couldn’t stop gazing at his own reflection. Like Caravaggio later, this artist uses the dreamy looks and looking of Narcissus as a metaphor for gay desire. This is not the only such painting from the school of Leonardo, and it may mean that his followers saw themselves as a sexual as well as an artistic subculture.
National Gallery, London.

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