Sebastian Smee


Art critic

Education: University of Sydney, BA, with first class honors, Fine Arts

Sebastian Smee is a Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic at The Washington Post and the author of "The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals and Breakthroughs in Modern Art." He worked at the Boston Globe from 2008 to 2016, teaches at Wellesley College, and has previously worked in London and Sydney for the Daily Telegraph (U.K.), the Guardian, the Spectator, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian and the Monthly.
Latest from Sebastian Smee

Blurring the line between danger and bliss

Chicago artist Christina Ramberg made a fetish of female beauty, and then things got weird.

December 7, 2022

John Singer Sargent’s enigmatic masterpiece, explained

Sargent painted “The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit” when he was 26. He never topped it.

November 23, 2022

A superstar of contemporary art presents new work in New York

Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s “There Is a Song in My Heart and a Hammer in My Brain” features a gorgeous video installation, somewhat like his famous “The Visitors.”

November 14, 2022

When the world was at its worst, Matisse was at his best

The Philadelphia Museum of Art presents “Matisse in the 1930s,” the most important American exhibition of the French artist in years.

November 10, 2022

Whose side are you on? Caravaggio cast shadows of doubt over everything.

The stripes in this 16th-century masterpiece, at the Kimbell, might be its biggest puzzle.

November 9, 2022

At 95, Alex Katz is having another moment. His Guggenheim show is a knockout.

This “very New York” artist’s retrospective is the show that Frank Lloyd Wright’s spectacular museum building has been waiting for all its life.

October 29, 2022

When John Singer Sargent went to Spain, it unleashed his best art

Sargent’s travels in Spain are the subject of a major show at the National Gallery.

October 27, 2022

Hot young bodies in bed, as painted by a great neoclassicist

Jacques-Louis David was in exile in Belgium when he turned to erotic Greek myths for this painting, “Cupid and Psyche”

October 26, 2022

The magazine that gave photography unprecedented power

A new Life magazine exhibition at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is revelatory — and riveting.

October 20, 2022

Andrew Lloyd Webber wanted this painting. His grandmother called it junk.

Dubbed “the most wonderful painting in existence,” Frederic Leighton’s “Flaming June” is now owned by a Puerto Rican museum

October 12, 2022