Famous British Artists

Find out more about the greatest British Artists, including Banksy, William Blake, Damien Hirst, Cynthia Lennon and Anish Kapoor.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite British Artists

 1 William Blake

William Blake
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Famous As: Poet and Visual Artist of the Romantic Age
Birthdate: November 28, 1757
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Soho, London, England
Died: August 12, 1827
William Blake, author of The Songs of Innocence and of Experience, was a prominent figure of the early phase of the Romantic Age, known as the pre-Romantic era. Known for his visual artistry and poetry, he was also a staunch abolitionist and a forerunner of the "free love" movement.

 2 PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Composer, Artist, Singer, Guitarist
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.

 3 Jemima Kirke

Jemima Kirke
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: April 26, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Westminster

Jemima Kirke is an English-American artist, actress, and director best known for her role as Jessa Johansson in the HBO series Girls. She is the daughter of Simon Kirke and was introduced to show business at a young age. After acting for a few years, she made her directorial debut in 2019. She is a reproductive rights activist as well.   

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 4 Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon
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Famous As: Painter
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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 5 David Hockney

David Hockney
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Famous As: Painter
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.

 6 John Ruskin

John Ruskin
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Famous As: Art Critic and Painter
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.

 7 L. S. Lowry

L. S. Lowry
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Famous As: Artist
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.

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 8 John Constable

John Constable
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Famous As: Romantic Painter
Birthdate: June 11, 1776
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: East Bergholt
Died: March 31, 1837

 9 Alice Liddell

Alice Liddell
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: May 4, 1852
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England, UK
Died: November 16, 1934

One of the 10 children of the dean of Christ Church, Henry Liddell, Alice Liddell was about 5 when she met mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as author Lewis Carroll. It is believed she was the inspiration behind Carroll’s iconic creation Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

 10 Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst
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Famous As: Artist
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.

 11 Neil Buchanan

Neil Buchanan
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Famous As: Television presenter
Birthdate: October 11, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Aintree, Liverpool, England, UK

 12 Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh
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Famous As: Architect
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. 

 13 Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud
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Famous As: Painter, Illustrator
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.

 14 Justine Frischmann

Justine Frischmann
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Famous As: Lead Singer of the Britpop Band 'Elastica'
Birthdate: September 16, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kensington, London, England

 15 Frieda Hughes

Frieda Hughes
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Famous As: Painter, Poet
Birthdate: April 1, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England

 16 Graham Sutherland

Graham Sutherland
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Famous As: Painter, Artist
Birthdate: August 24, 1903
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Streatham
Died: February 17, 1980

 17 Barbara Hepworth

Barbara Hepworth
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 10, 1903
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died: May 20, 1975
English sculptor Barbara Hepworth, CBE and DBE, was a prominent figure in Modern Art. A Royal College of Art alumna, she used bronze, marble, and wood to create masterpieces such as Single Form and Family of Man, which adorn various venues. She died in a fire at her studio.

 18 Vanessa Bell

Vanessa Bell
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 30, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London
Died: April 7, 1961

 19 Len Deighton

Len Deighton
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 18, 1929
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England

Len Deighton is an author whose works have inspired several movies and TV shows. Many of his novels, such as Funeral in Berlin, The Ipcress File, Spy Story, and Billion Dollar Brain, have been adapted into films. His works have influenced other popular personalities like Aung San Suu Kyi. Anthony Burgess mentioned Deighton's novel Bomber in his work Ninety-nine Novels.

 20 Thomas Gainsborough

Thomas Gainsborough
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Famous As: Landscape painter
Birthdate: May 14, 1727
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sudbury, England
Died: August 2, 1788

 21 Derek Jarman

Derek Jarman
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Famous As: Film director, Actor, Screenwriter, Diarist, Painter, Costume designer, LGBT rights activist
Birthdate: January 31, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Northwood
Died: February 19, 1994

 22 Leonora Carrington

Leonora Carrington
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Famous As: Artist
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.

 23 Branwell Brontë

Branwell Brontë
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Famous As: Painter, Poet, Writer
Birthdate: June 26, 1817
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Yorkshire
Died: September 24, 1848

 24 Thomas Cole

Thomas Cole
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 1, 1801
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bolton, Lancashire, England
Died: February 11, 1848

 25 John Berger

John Berger
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: November 5, 1926
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 2, 2017

 26 Neil Harbisson

Neil Harbisson
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Famous As: Cyborg Artist
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.

 27 John Tenniel

John Tenniel
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Famous As: Illustrator
Birthdate: February 28, 1820
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bayswater, London, England
Died: February 25, 1914

 28 Dave Lee Travis

Dave Lee Travis
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Famous As: Photographer, Television presenter, Radio personality, Disc jockey
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.

 29 Terry O'Neill

Terry O'Neill
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Famous As: Photographer
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.

 30 Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor
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Famous As: 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.
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.

 31 Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll
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Famous As: Horticulturist, Painter, Gardener, Non-fiction writer, Botanist, Architect
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.

 32 Peter Greenaway

Peter Greenaway
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Famous As: Theatre director, Film director, Writer, Experimental artist, Screenwriter, Painter, Film editor, Actor, Cinematographer, Television director
Birthdate: April 5, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newport

 33 Stephen Wiltshire

Stephen Wiltshire
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Famous As: Architectural artist
Birthdate: April 24, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England

 34 Gerald Scarfe

Gerald Scarfe
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Famous As: Caricaturist, Illustrator, Designer, Animator, Artist, Postage stamp designer, Painter
Birthdate: June 1, 1936
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St John's Wood

 35 Holly Johnson

Holly Johnson
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: February 9, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Liverpool, England

Apart from being a successful new wave musician, as part of Big in Japan and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Holly Johnson is also a talented painter, who has held exhibitions at venues such as Tate Liverpool. He also penned a memoir, after being diagnosed with HIV in the early 1990s.

 36 Jay Jopling

Jay Jopling
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Famous As: Art dealer
Birthdate: 1963 AD
Birthplace: England

 37 Edward Burne-Jones

Edward Burne-Jones
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: August 28, 1833
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Died: June 17, 1898

 38 Peter Blake

Peter Blake
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: June 25, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dartford, Kent, England

 39 Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry
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Famous As: Artist
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.

 40 Louis Wain

Louis Wain
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Famous As: Artist, Painter
Birthdate: August 5, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London
Died: July 4, 1939

 41 Jack Vettriano

Jack Vettriano
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 17, 1951
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Methil, Fife

 42 Lalla Ward

Lalla Ward
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 28, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England

 43 Augustus Pugin

Augustus Pugin
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Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: March 1, 1812
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bloomsbury, London, England
Died: September 14, 1852

Augustus Pugin was an English designer, architect, artist, and critic. He is best remembered for his contribution to the Gothic Revival style of architecture. He is credited with designing the interior of the popular Palace of Westminster in London as well as the palace's iconic clock tower. Augustus Pugin also designed the Alton Castle in Staffordshire.

 44 Arthur Rackham

Arthur Rackham
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Famous As: Former Illustrator best-known works include the illustrations for Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
Birthdate: September 19, 1867
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vauxhall, London, England, United Kingdom
Died: September 6, 1939

 45 Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin
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Famous As: Artist, Painter
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.

 46 Henry Fuseli

Henry Fuseli
3
Famous As: Former painter known for Painting, draughtsmanship
Birthdate: February 7, 1741
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: April 17, 1825

Swiss artist Henry Fuseli is remembered for the drama and sensuality showcased in his paintings. Though born to a landscape and portrait painter, he was initially taught theology. After leaving the country due to political risks, he made it to Britain and Italy. He later contributed to the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery.

 47 Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath

Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: May 6, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 4, 2020

 48 Roger Dean

Roger Dean
3
Famous As: illustrator, artist, architect, designer, painter
Birthdate: August 31, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ashford

 49 Richard Hamilton

Richard Hamilton
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 24, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pimlico, London, England
Died: September 13, 2011

 50 William Holman Hunt

William Holman Hunt
3
Famous As: Painter, Artist
Birthdate: April 2, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cheapside
Died: September 7, 1910