British Artists and Painters

The unique heritage, diverse and enlivening coastlines and rolling hillsides of Great Britain has, for centuries, been a true inspiration behind an artist’s paintbrush. Britain’s vivacious relationship with art began sometime in the Middle Ages when increasing prosperity in Britain warranted a demand for the increased production of fine art.

The classical Age and Sir Joshua Reynolds

Art in England from the mid to the late 18th century is widely referred to as the “classical age” of English painting. Out of the many great and influential British artists and painters that emerged during this flourishing artistic era in England, Sir Joshua Reynolds was a leading figure.

This influential 18th century British artist, specialised in portraits and so highly regarded that King George III recognised his talents and knighted Joshua Reynolds in 1769.

Lucien Freud

Grandson of the famous psychologist Sigmund Freud, Lucien Freud had often been cited as being the “grand old man of British art”.

Freud initially adopted a surrealist style of painting but in the 1950s converted his efforts into portraits, particularly full-figure nude paintings that infused charcoal drawings with thick oil paint. Many of this famous British painter’s subjects included his family, friends and even pets or often a combination of such subjects, as seen in the famous ‘Girl With a White Dog’ painting (1950 – 1951).

So prominent and revered have Lucien Freud’s paintings become that in 2008 one of his paintings sold in New York for $33.6 million.

David Hockney

David Hockney has been described as being one of the most prominent and popular post-war British artists and painters. This highly talented Yorkshireman graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1962 and went to live in Los Angeles where he became particularly well-known for his novel paintings of the lavish and flamboyant swimming pools that were increasingly spouting in the premises of Beverly Hill’s wealthy and elite during the 1960s.

In fact so significant and revered a British artist did David Hockney become that last year he was named as the most influential British artist of all time, according to a poll of 1,000 British painters and sculptors.

Andy Goldsworthy

Mention who has been the most untouchable and influential British artists and painters of all time and the name Andy Goldsworthy never fails to surface.

If there was one country which compelled an artist to collaborate with the natural surroundings it has to be the verdurous and inimitable lands of Great Britain. This collaboration between nature and art is the essence behind Andy Goldsworthy’s creations. It was working with the dry-stone walls Britain’s unique landscape is affectionately made up of where Goldsworthy learned how to make durable stone sculptures.

This world-renowned British artist regards his works as transient or ephemeral with an underlying goal to understand nature by “directly participating in nature as intimately as he can.” In fact not one other artist can bring to life everyday natural objects such as leaves, pebbles, snow and tree trunks quite as creatively and thought-provokingly as the incredible Andy Goldsworthy.



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