Famous British Artists & Painters

If you have ever walked into an art gallery, you would know the magic that art creates. Paintings strung on wall may seem insipid from the outside but just as you step in, you would be enthralled by the magnificent magic that they exude. And just when you get closer to any of them, you would be transported into a world imagined and created on the canvas by the painter. Paintings are not mere amalgamation of colors and creativity. Each painting is the product of vivid imagination and has a gripping story to tell. While the world has been thronged by superlative painters from across the countries, it is British painters that we would be directing our focus on to in this section. Britain has given the world some of the greatest painters since centuries. Unless you have closed your eyes and ears to the world, you would have definitely heard about Francis Bacon, J.M.W. Turner, William Hogarth, John Ruskin, John Everest Millais, Thomas Gainsborough, David Hockney and Damien Hirst. Each of them has been amongst the world’s most talented painters and artists across centuries. Browse ahead and immerse yourself in the artistic galore of these famous British painters.

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 & Painters

 1 William Blake

William Blake.
5
Famous As: Painter, Poet
Birthdate: November 28, 1757
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: 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 J. M. W. Turner

J. M. W. Turner.
6
Famous As: Romanticist landscape painter
Birthdate: April 23, 1775
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 19, 1851

J. M. W. Turner was an English printmaker, painter, and watercolorist best remembered for his imaginative landscapes and expressive colorizations. Intensely reclusive and eccentric throughout his life, Turner lived in poor health and squalor for the last few years of his life. He was portrayed by actor Timothy Spall in the 2014 biographical film, Mr. Turner.

 3 David Hockney

David Hockney.
4
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.

 4 Banksy

Banksy.
6
Famous As: Graffiti Artist
Birthdate: 1974 AD
Birthplace: Bristol, England

Speaking to world through his spray paints and stencils, Banksy is a popular, though anonymous, graffiti artist. He has a unique style that includes stenciling technique and is known for delivering satirical political and social messages. With fans all over the world, this mysterious artist’s works are worth millions of pounds.

 5 Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon.
4
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. 

 6 Ant Anstead

Ant Anstead.
6
Famous As: Television Presenter
Birthdate: February 29, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Plymouth, Devon, England

Ant Anstead is an English TV presenter and car builder. Having started his career as a police constable, Ant Anstead worked his way into pursuing a career as a car builder, which is what he loved doing the most. His passion for cars provided him with an opportunity to become a TV presenter—an inspiring story indeed.

 7 Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 12, 1828
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: April 9, 1882

Known for founding the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Dante Gabriel Rossetti was a legendary poet and painter of the 19th century. His illustrations also adorned the books of his poet sister Christina Rossetti. Known for volumes such as The House of Life, he also influenced the Aesthetic movement.

You May Like

 8 Jemima Kirke

Jemima Kirke
6
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.   

Recommended Lists:

 9 John Ruskin

John Ruskin.
4
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.

 10 Sean Pertwee

Sean Pertwee.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 4, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London

Sean Pertwee is an English actor and narrator. The son of actor, Jon Pertwee, Sean followed in the footsteps of his father to establish himself in the entertainment industry. Apart from playing important roles in films like Dog Soldiers, he is also known for his work as a narrator in TV shows, such as Zero Hour and MasterChef: The Professionals.

 11 Clive Barker

Clive Barker
4
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: October 5, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool, England

Clive Barker is an English playwright, novelist, visual artist, and film director. He gained prominence in the 1980s as a horror writer and has since written many novels and other works. As an illustrator, he has created original characters and series for comic books. He also creates costume designs. He is a recipient of the Inkpot Award. 

 12 Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen
4
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: October 9, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England

Steve McQueen is a British filmmaker and video artist best known for his film 12 Years a Slave. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, making him the first black filmmaker to win the award. He is also a prominent visual artist and a recipient of the Turner Prize, the highest award given to a British visual artist. 

 13 William Turner of Oxford

William Turner of Oxford
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 12, 1789
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Black Bourton, Oxfordshire, England
Died: August 7, 1862

British landscape painter William Turner of Oxford is often mistaken for the famous painter J. M. W. Turner, who was also from England. Turner was a lifelong member of the Watercolor Society, founded by his mentor John Varley. Oxford from Hinksey Hill remains one of his best-known works.

 14 John Constable

John Constable.
4
Famous As: Romantic Painter
Birthdate: June 11, 1776
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: East Bergholt
Died: March 31, 1837

 15 Jade Jagger

Jade Jagger.
4
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: October 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris

Jewelry and home designer Jade Jagger, daughter of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, has also been a model. She launched the fashion brand Jade Inc. and a lifestyle concept called Jezebel. She has also worked for Garrard and designed luxury apartments in New York and Mumbai.

 16 Derren Brown

Derren Brown
4
Famous As: Illusionist
Birthdate: February 27, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Croydon, London, England

British illusionist Derren Brown was first drawn to the world of magic after watching a hypnotism show at the University of Bristol. The star of the long-running show Mind Control, Brown has participated in stage shows and written books, mostly with the aim of debunking the claims of false psychics.

 17 Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud
4
Famous As: Painter, Illustrator, Printmaker
Birthdate: December 8, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berlin
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.

 18 Charlotte Johnson Wahl

Charlotte Johnson Wahl.
4
Famous As: Painter, Mother of Boris Johnson
Birthdate: April 30, 1942
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oxford, United Kingdom
Died: September 13, 2021

Artist Charlotte Johnson Wahl is the mother of British prime minister Boris Johnson and British journalist Rachel Johnson. She is known for her portraits and her signature style that mirrors the Vorticist style. Her creations have been featured at the Bethlem Museum of the Mind.

 19 L. S. Lowry

L. S. Lowry.
4
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.

 20 Daniel Chatto

Daniel Chatto
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 22, 1957
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England

 21 John Everett Millais

John Everett Millais.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: June 8, 1829
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Southampton, Hampshire, England
Died: August 13, 1896

 22 Neil Buchanan

Neil Buchanan
4
Famous As: Television presenter
Birthdate: October 11, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Aintree, Liverpool, England, UK

 23 Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
4
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. 

 24 Christopher Tolkien

Christopher Tolkien.
6
Famous As: English editor
Birthdate: November 21, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Leeds, England
Died: January 16, 2020

Christopher Tolkien was a French and English academic editor. The son of legendary author J. R. R. Tolkien, Christopher edited much of his father's work, which was published after his father's demise. Christopher Tolkien is also credited with drawing the original maps in, The Lord of the Rings, one of his father's highly acclaimed novels.

 25 Alice Liddell

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

 26 Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin.
6
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.

 27 Graham Sutherland

Graham Sutherland
4
Famous As: Painter, Artist
Birthdate: August 24, 1903
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Streatham
Died: February 17, 1980

 28 Aubrey Beardsley

Aubrey Beardsley.
4
Famous As: Illustrator
Birthdate: August 21, 1872
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brighton, England
Died: March 16, 1898

Aubrey Beardsley was an English illustrator and author, whose works emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic. A leading figure in the aesthetic movement, he was deeply influenced by black ink drawings. He attended classes at the Westminster School of Art before beginning his career as an artist. He was considered an eccentric person.  

 29 Justine Frischmann

Justine Frischmann.
5
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: September 16, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kensington, London, England

 30 John William Waterhouse

John William Waterhouse.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 6, 1849
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: February 10, 1917

 31 Frieda Hughes

Frieda Hughes
5
Famous As: Painter, Poet, Writer, Children's writer
Birthdate: April 1, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London

 32 Neil Harbisson

Neil Harbisson.
4
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.

 33 Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor
4
Famous As: Sculptor, Visual artist, Painter, Architect
Birthdate: March 12, 1954
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mumbai

 34 Derek Jarman

Derek Jarman
4
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

 35 Eric Gill

Eric Gill.
4
Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: February 22, 1882
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brighton, Sussex, England
Died: November 17, 1940

 36 Chris Barrie

Chris Barrie
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 28, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany

Born to an armyman father, Chris Barrie worked as a grave filler after dropping out of college. He then got a break on a TV show. Best known for his portrayal of Arnold Rimmer in the series Red Dwarf, he also gained fame with the BBC sitcom The Brittas Empire.

 37 Thomas Gainsborough

Thomas Gainsborough.
4
Famous As: Landscape painter
Birthdate: May 14, 1727
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sudbury, England
Died: August 2, 1788

 38 John Berger

John Berger.
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: November 5, 1926
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London Borough of Hackney

 39 John Tenniel

John Tenniel
4
Famous As: Illustrator
Birthdate: February 28, 1820
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bayswater, London, England
Died: February 25, 1914

 40 Branwell Brontë

Branwell Brontë
4
Famous As: Painter, Poet, Writer
Birthdate: June 26, 1817
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Yorkshire
Died: September 24, 1848

 41 Vanessa Bell

Vanessa Bell
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 30, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London
Died: April 7, 1961

 42 Natasha Law

Natasha Law
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 1, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England

 43 Thomas Cole

Thomas Cole.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 1, 1801
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bolton, Lancashire, England
Died: February 11, 1848

 44 Len Deighton

Len Deighton
4
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.

 45 Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll
4
Famous As: Horticulturist, Painter, Gardener, Non-fiction writer, Botanist, Architect
Birthdate: November 29, 1843
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London
Died: December 8, 1932

 46 Terry O'Neill

Terry O'Neill
4
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: July 30, 1938
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: November 16, 2019

 47 Edward Burne-Jones

Edward Burne-Jones.
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 28, 1833
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Birmingham
Died: June 17, 1898

 48 Gerald Scarfe

Gerald Scarfe
3
Famous As: Caricaturist, Illustrator, Designer, Animator, Artist, Postage stamp designer, Painter
Birthdate: June 1, 1936
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St John's Wood

 49 Duncan Grant

Duncan Grant
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 21, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rothiemurchus, Aviemore, Scotland
Died: May 8, 1978

 50 Joshua Reynolds

Joshua Reynolds
5
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 16, 1723
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Plympton, England
Died: February 23, 1792