Famous British Artists

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Find out more about the greatest British Artists, including Banksy, William Blake, Damien Hirst, Cynthia Lennon and Anish Kapoor.
Vote for Your Favourite British Artists
 1 
PJ Harvey
(Singer-songwriter, Composer, Artist, Singer, Guitarist)
PJ Harvey
7
Birthdate: October 9, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bridport

Tinged with themes of female sexuality, the lyrics of PJ Harvey have redefined the place women occupy in rock music. While she was initially part of a musical trio named after herself, she later charted her own path as a solo musician. She is only artist to have earned the Mercury Prize twice.

 2 
David Hockney
(Painter)
David Hockney
6
Birthdate: July 9, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bradford

Painter, photographer, printmaker, and stage designer David Hockney is best known for his works such as Portrait of an Artist, which became the most expensive piece of art by a living artist ever auctioned, at $90 million. His works have explored themes such as homosexuality. He has synesthesia, too.

 3 
Francis Bacon
(Painter)
Francis Bacon
5
Birthdate: October 28, 1909
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: April 28, 1992

Francis Bacon was an English philosopher and statesman. He played a major role in the development of the scientific method and was an influential figure through the scientific revolution. He served as attorney general and as lord chancellor of England and was the first recipient of the queen's counsel designation. He has created Baron Verulam in 1618. 

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 4 
John Ruskin
(Art Critic and Painter)
John Ruskin
5
Birthdate: February 8, 1819
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: England
Died: January 20, 1900

The leading English art critic of the Victorian era, John Ruskin was a hugely influential figure in the latter half of the 19th century. Also a philosopher and prominent social thinker, he wrote on varied subjects like geology, architecture, education, botany, myth, ornithology, literature, and political economy. He founded the charitable trust Guild of St George.

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 5 
L. S. Lowry
(Artist)
L. S. Lowry
4
Birthdate: November 1, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Stretford, Lancashire, England
Died: February 23, 1976

Laurence Stephen Lowry was an English painter, known for his bleak urban industrial landscapes, peopled with human figures akin to “matchstick men”. He became interested in the subject while working at a Manchester real-estate and began depicting what he saw. Although critics are divided over his stature, they all agree on the relevance of his works as a social commentary.

 6 
John Constable
(Romantic Painter)
John Constable
5
Birthdate: June 11, 1776
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: East Bergholt
Died: March 31, 1837
 7 
Damien Hirst
(Artist)
Damien Hirst
4
Birthdate: June 7, 1965
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bristol

Artist Damien Hirst first gained fame in the 1980s. A master of conceptual art, he creates everything from paintings and installations to sculptures and drawings, with topics ranging from mortality and beauty to rebirth and technology. One of his creations featured dead animals preserved in formaldehyde, while another featured rows of multicolored spots.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh
4
Birthdate: June 7, 1868
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Townhead, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Died: December 10, 1928

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a Scottish architect, designer, and artist. He was married to fellow artist Margaret Macdonald, and they both were influential on the European design movements Art Nouveau and Secessionism. Mackintosh is considered one of the most important figures of Modern Style (British Art Nouveau style). In his later years, he worked largely as a watercolorist. 

 9 
Frieda Hughes
(Painter, Poet)
Frieda Hughes
5
Birthdate: April 1, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
 10 
Lucian Freud
(British Painter Who was One of the Foremost 20th-Century English Portraitists)
Lucian Freud
4
Birthdate: December 8, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: July 20, 2011

The son of architect L. Freud and the grandson of legendary psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, painter Lucian Freud was born in Berlin but later moved to London to flee Nazism. He showed an inclination toward surrealism initially but later drifted to realism. Cedric Morris remains one of his notable works.

 11 
Justine Frischmann
(Was the Lead Singer of the Britpop band 'Elastica' and Co-Founder of the Rock Band 'Suede')
Justine Frischmann
4
Birthdate: September 16, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kensington, London, England
 12 
Neil Buchanan
(Television presenter)
Neil Buchanan
5
Birthdate: October 11, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Aintree, Liverpool, England, UK
 13 
Graham Sutherland
(Painter, Artist)
Graham Sutherland
5
Birthdate: August 24, 1903
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Streatham
Died: February 17, 1980
 14 
Derek Jarman
(Film director, Actor, Screenwriter, Diarist, Painter, Costume designer, LGBT rights activist)
Derek Jarman
4
Birthdate: January 31, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Northwood
Died: February 19, 1994
 15 
Vanessa Bell
(Painter)
Vanessa Bell
4
Birthdate: May 30, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London
Died: April 7, 1961
 16 
Thomas Gainsborough
(Landscape painter)
Thomas Gainsborough
4
Birthdate: May 14, 1727
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sudbury, England
Died: August 2, 1788
 17 
Leonora Carrington
(Mexican Surrealist Painter and Novelist)
Leonora Carrington
4
Birthdate: April 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Clayton-le-Woods, Lancashire, England
Died: May 25, 2011

Leonora Carrington was a Mexican artist, novelist, and surrealist painter. During the 1970s, Carrington played an important role in Mexico's women's liberation movement as she was one of the founding members of the movement. Carrington, who was fascinated by symbolism and myth, studied alchemy, Popol Vuh, post-classic Mayan mystical writings, and the kabbalah.

 18 
John Berger
(Novelist)
John Berger
4
Birthdate: November 5, 1926
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 2, 2017
 19 
Thomas Cole
(Painter)
Thomas Cole
4
Birthdate: February 1, 1801
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bolton, Lancashire, England
Died: February 11, 1848
 20 
Neil Harbisson
(Cyborg Artist Known for Being the First Person in the World With an Antenna Implanted in His Skull)
Neil Harbisson
4
Birthdate: July 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mataró, Spain

Neil Harbisson is a cyborg artist best known for implanting an antenna in his skull. He is the first person in the world to do so. He gained international prominence after he was legally recognized by the government as a cyborg. An influential activist for transpecies rights, Neil Harbisson co-founded the Cyborg Foundation in 2010. The organization defends cyborg rights.

 21 
Branwell Brontë
(Painter, Poet, Writer)
Branwell Brontë
4
Birthdate: June 26, 1817
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Yorkshire
Died: September 24, 1848
 22 
Dave Lee Travis
(Photographer, Television presenter, Radio personality, Disc jockey)
Dave Lee Travis
4
Birthdate: May 25, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Buxton

Dave Lee Travis is a British radio presenter, TV presenter, and disc jockey. Apart from presenting popular radio shows like A Jolly Good Show, Travis is also renowned for presenting TV shows like The Golden Oldie Picture Show. A controversial personality, Travis was convicted of indecent assault in 2014. Travis has been inducted into the Radio Academy Hall of Fame.

 23 
John Tenniel
(Illustrator)
John Tenniel
4
Birthdate: February 28, 1820
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bayswater, London, England
Died: February 25, 1914
 24 
Terry O'Neill
(Photographer)
Terry O'Neill
3
Birthdate: July 30, 1938
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: November 16, 2019

Terry O'Neill was a British photographer best remembered for capturing the fashions and celebrities of the '60s. O'Neill was renowned for documenting his subjects in unconventional settings or candidly. His work has been showcased in several exhibitions and art galleries, including the National Portrait Gallery in London. In 2011, Terry O'Neill was honored with the Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal.

 25 
Anish Kapoor
(Sculpture known for works like Cloud Gate in Chicago and Sky Mirror in New York, he won the Premio Duemila Prize in 1990 and the Turner Prize in 1991.)
Anish Kapoor
4
Birthdate: March 12, 1954
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, india

Born in India, sculptor Anish Kapoor initially studied engineering in Israel but soon quit his studies to study art in Britain. The Turner Prize-winning artist was the first living artist to earn a solo show at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. The Cloud Gate in Chicago remain his best-loved work.

 26 
Peter Greenaway
(Welsh Artist, Film Director, and Screenwriter)
Peter Greenaway
4
Birthdate: April 5, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newport

Peter Greenaway is a Welsh artist, film director, and screenwriter. He is best known for making films with common traits, such as the contrasts of nature and architecture, costume and nudity, sexual pleasure and painful death, and furniture and people. Some of his best-known films include The Pillow Book and Goltzius and the Pelican Company.

 27 
Gerald Scarfe
(Caricaturist, Illustrator, Designer, Animator, Artist, Postage stamp designer, Painter)
Gerald Scarfe
3
Birthdate: June 1, 1936
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St John's Wood
 28 
Gertrude Jekyll
(Horticulturist, Painter, Gardener, Non-fiction writer, Botanist, Architect)
Gertrude Jekyll
3
Birthdate: November 29, 1843
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London
Died: December 8, 1932

Landscape architect Gertrude Jekyll was born into an affluent family and grew up in a refined environment, learning music and traveling. Initially interested in painting, she gave it up to focus on gardening when she developed eyesight problems. She built around 400 gardens and also collaborated with Sir Edwin Lutyens.

 29 
Stephen Wiltshire
(Architectural artist)
Stephen Wiltshire
4
Birthdate: April 24, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
 30 
Jay Jopling
(Art dealer)
Jay Jopling
3
Birthdate: 1963 AD
Birthplace: England
 31 
Peter Blake
(Artist)
Peter Blake
3
Birthdate: June 25, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dartford, Kent, England
 32 
Grayson Perry
5
Birthdate: March 24, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chelmsford

British potter and artist Grayson Perry had discovered he was a transvestite by age 13 and later made it a theme of many of his artworks. He had once also aspired to be a filmmaker, but later focused on ceramics. Most of his works feature social issues and violence as themes.

 33 
Louis Wain
(Artist, Painter)
Louis Wain
4
Birthdate: August 5, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London
Died: July 4, 1939
 34 
Arthur Rackham
(Former Illustrator best-known works include the illustrations for Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm)
Arthur Rackham
3
Birthdate: September 19, 1867
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vauxhall, London, England, United Kingdom
Died: September 6, 1939
 35 
Elizabeth Siddal
(Painter, Poet, Art model, Visual artist, Model)
Elizabeth Siddal
3
Birthdate: July 25, 1829
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Holborn
Died: February 11, 1862
 36 
Edward Burne-Jones
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1833
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Died: June 17, 1898
 37 
Tracey Emin
(Artist, Painter)
Tracey Emin
6
Birthdate: July 3, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Croydon, London, England

Artist Tracey Emin is known for incorporating subjective elements in her artwork. She experiments with media such as drawing, sculpture, and installations. She made headlines with her controversial works such as Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995 and My Bed. She has also taught at the Royal Academy.

 38 
Duncan Grant
(Painter)
Duncan Grant
3
Birthdate: January 21, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rothiemurchus, Aviemore, Scotland
Died: May 8, 1978
 39 
Lalla Ward
(Actress)
Lalla Ward
4
Birthdate: June 28, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath
4
Birthdate: May 6, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 4, 2020
 41 
Jack Vettriano
3
Birthdate: November 17, 1951
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Methil, Fife
 42 
Roger Dean
(illustrator, artist, architect, designer, painter)
Roger Dean
3
Birthdate: August 31, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ashford
 43 
William Holman Hunt
(Painter, Artist)
William Holman Hunt
3
Birthdate: April 2, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cheapside
Died: September 7, 1910
 44 
Desmond Morris
(English Ethologist, Zoologist, Author, and Surrealist Painter)
Desmond Morris
3
Birthdate: January 24, 1928
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Purton, Wiltshire, England

Desmond Morris is an English ethologist, zoologist, author, and surrealist painter. He is well-known for his book The Naked Ape and for his TV shows, such as Zoo Time. Desmond Morris is also known for his work as the writer and presenter of the popular BBC documentary The Human Animal.

 45 
John Martin
(engraver, painter)
John Martin
4
Birthdate: July 19, 1789
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Haydon Bridge
Died: February 17, 1854
 46 
Jenny Saville
(painter)
Jenny Saville
3
Birthdate: May 7, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cambridge
 47 
E. H. Shepard
(Artist, Illustrator, Painter)
E. H. Shepard
3
Birthdate: December 10, 1879
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London
Died: March 24, 1976
 48 
Augustus John
(Painter, Etcher)
Augustus John
3
Birthdate: January 4, 1878
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tenby
Died: October 31, 1961
 49 
Antony Gormley
(Sculptor, Artist)
Antony Gormley
4
Birthdate: August 30, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London

Sculptor Antony Gormley is best known for his human forms, most of which he creates using his own naked form. The Turner Prize-winning artist had initially studied history and archaeology but later turned to art. His best-known works include Angel of the North and Three Ways: Mould, Hole and Passage.

 50 
Bridget Riley
(Painter)
Bridget Riley
4
Birthdate: April 24, 1931
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: West Norwood