In a recent survey by Samsung, Banksy’s Balloon Girl topped the nation’s best-loved masterpieces, beating paintings by Constable and Turner. But who says you have to be a millionaire to own Britain’s favourite works of art?
We’ve rounded up amazing art prints of the nation’s favourites for you to shop.
Art lovers, King & McGaw pop up shop
Banksy, the anonymous street artist from Bristol, painted Balloon Girl onto the wall of a printing shop in Shoreditch in 2002. Today, it gets Britain’s vote as your favourite work of art.
“Painting should be understood as a pursuit, legitimate, scientific and mechanical,” said Constable. Finished in 1821, Constable’s rural scene on the River Stour now hangs at the National Gallery.
The artist, who took up painting as a hobby when his girlfriend bought him a set of watercolours has become today’s best-loved painter. Vettriano painted The Singing Butler in 1992, it was sold for a record breaking £744,800 in 2004.
Turner, the greatest landscape painter of the 19th Century, shows his mastery of light in his much-revered painting The Fighting Temeraire, also in the National Gallery.
Peopled with “matchstick men”, Lowry’s paintings forged a totally unique strand of 20th Century European art. Described as the football picture, it was bought by theProfessional Footballers’ Association for a record £1.9m in 1999.
The 1888 pre-Raphaelite painting, The Lady of Shalott, inspired by Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem, continues to inspire a new generation of art lovers.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.
Peter Blake and his wife Jann Haworth conceived and constructed the set, featuring life-size cut outs of 88 historical figures. The Beatle’s were photographed at the centre and the cover went on to be the most iconic of all time.
Another iconic album cover makes the top 20. The illustration for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon was produced by Hipgnosis. Pink Floyd’s keyboardist challenged Thorgerson, co-founder of Hipgnosis to create something “smarter, neater – more classy” for the album.
Millais’s painting represents the death of Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Painted in 1851 it’s regarded as one of the most accurate and elaborate studies of nature ever made.
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element; but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.