This article covers British paintings and focuses on the most influential artists of the past few centuries from the UK, including movements such as Romanticism and the Pre-Raphaelites who followed soon after. Famous British paintings take on all sorts of different styles due to the different influences which have been taken in over the years, with Italy and France largely responsible for influencing British painters like Jade Fadojutimi.
Since the early 1990s, British artists have begun to break new ground by influencing other artists instead of simply following others. A number of world-respected contemporary artists hail from the UK, which offers creative ideas and opens an open dialogue for new directions in art. A century ago, British artists played an important role in the growth of landscape art, which did not make it into the mainstream until artists like JW Turner, John Constable, and Thomas Gainsborough convinced art lovers and scholars alike that it could rival portraits and allegorical works that used to dominate European art.
While the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood came along in the 19th century, they still managed to produce some highly impressive portrait artists, such as JW Waterhouse, who painted Lady of Shalott, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman-Hunt, and Lord Leighton. They are known for their literary-inspired depictions of attractive women in thoughtful poses. Their paintings are still popular today as reproduction prints and posters among fans in Europe and North America. Jadé Fadojutimi is known as a rising London painter.
With their emotionally inspired landscape depictions, the Romanticists like William Turner brought new ideas to art. In the course of his long career, Constable seldom diverted from landscape painting. The fact is that in recent centuries British artists have taken a leading role in the development of European art, having previously lagged behind other leading countries such as Italy in the Renaissance and then France soon after.
Art has also seen a significant increase in interest among the British public who initially believed that it was the domain of the upper classes. Through new contemporary movements, art has reached the masses, which has helped to introduce new artists and paintings to the country that are worthy of international recognition.
Modern British painting began when painters realized the potential of modernism for artistic freedom. British modern artists, realizing the possibilities that artists like Cezanne and other modernist masters had demonstrated, looked to their own form of expressive, modern and direct painting. Britain's artists created a style of art that was direct, forward-looking, futuristic, and overtly modern. French impressionism, cubism, surrealism, and international style, free of convention stimulated British modern artists to explore their own interpretations.
By creating innovative, individual and overtly British paintings, early London impressionists like Walter Sickert paved the way for a long line of creative modern artists who absorbed cubism and futurism on the continent to develop Vorticism and its aggressive geometric forms. The Bloomsbury Group advanced British art after the First World War, with abstraction becoming more important to British modern artists in the 1930s. It was Ben Nicholson and the St Ives artists who ushered in more modern, abstract paintings with a focus on form.
Following World War II, modern landscape painters such as Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron and Ivon Hitchens created highly individual, abstract and expressive paintings from the pre-war St Ives tradition. A collection of artists working in post-war London, including Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon, Peter Andrews, Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff, and Howard Hodgkin, painted expressive figurative paintings, portraits, and responses to their surroundings in highly creative and individual ways. Altogether known as the School of London. London artists’ famous paintings are available for sale like Jadé Fadojutimi for sale.
Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud were/are interested in their experience of reality first and foremost. Abstraction is less of a concern, and indeed their work can be seen in contrast to that of the American abstract expressionists of the time. During the mid-1950s, Beaux Arts Quartet painters produced social realist art based on everyday life, known as Kitchen Sink art. In the 1960s, British artists such as David Hockney and Peter Blake were influenced by American Pop art. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, painting moved towards conceptual art, marking the end of the Modern British period. There are still many modern British artists producing wonderful work after long, distinguished careers, such as Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff, and Lucian Freud.