Witches, skeletons and black holes – the week in art

The Ashmoleon is conjuring up dark magic, Anish Kapoor is tricking the eye and the cosmos reveals its unfathomable beauty – all in our weekly dispatch

Exhibition of the week

A delve into the dark world of magic and witchcraft, full of strange and curious objects including the paraphernalia of Elizabeth I’s conjurer Dr John Dee.
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 31 August to 6 January.

Also showing

Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman and others star in a survey of self-portraiture as the fashioning of identity.
Hayward Gallery, London, until 14 October.

The Art of Campari
Fancy a drink? Well there are plenty of pictures of them in this celebration of the images that have sold Campari since its origins in the age of Art Nouveau.
Estorick Collection, London, until 16 September.

Roman Dead
Real skeletons and the objects buried with them open a window on everyday life and death in ancient Londinium.
Museum of London Docklands until 28 October.

Jacob’s Ladder
Artists including Katie Paterson, Cornelia Parker and Vija Celmins explore the cosmos in this lovely voyage through contemporary art inspired by astronomy.
Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, until 20 October.

Masterpiece of the week

Rembrandt: The Woman Taken in Adultery (1644)

‘The Woman taken in Adultery’ by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) a Dutch painter and etcher. Dated 17th Century.

This is a small painting but it creates an eerie sense of scale by its suggestion of inky cavernous space enfolding the little figures. Rembrandt, whose lover Hendrickje Stoffels was censured by the church for loose living, takes the side of the accused, the insulted, the outcast. His plea for tolerance and acceptance is a glowing humanist testimony from a more harshly judging world than ours.
National Gallery, London.

Image of the week

Descent Into Limbo by Anish Kapoor.

Descent into Limbo, an installation by Anish Kapoor at the Serralves museum in Porto, during the retrospective Works, Thoughts, Experiments, looks like a black circle painted on the floor but is actually a 2.5 metre (8 ft) hole. This fact was confirmed earlier this month when an unnamed visitor to the gallery fell into it. “What can I say? It is a shame,” Kapoor said. The gallery has confirmed that the visitor is OK.

What we learned

Mary Beard is exploring nakedness.

The Futuro flying saucer house is back in vogue.

Brussels is streets ahead in appreciating Magritte.

Martin Puryear has been chosen as this Biennale’s American in Venice.

Tabloid Art History finds links between Beyoncé and Botticelli.

Stickers on Antony Gormley’s beach sculptures have caused a gender row.

There were surrealists, and then there were really wacky surrealists.

Triumph or carbuncle? Amin Taha’s stone-clad Clerkenwell flats may have to go.

Australia and New Zealand have gone all Wes Anderson.

Benjamin Hardman gave shape to the Arctic.

Jeremy Deller thinks good cafes should be listed.

Emperor Augustus is toppled again.

LaToya Ruby Frazier owes a lot to her grandma.

The LensCulture art photography award winners were announced.

Laura Henno went to Slab City.

We remembered Australian painter Charles Blackman.

Don’t forget

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Jonathan Jones

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