April 28th, 2008

Do you think British painters are every bit as interesting as the French, Spanish, Italians, Dutch, etc.?

Why are people so quick to like French Impressionism and Cubism as opposed to British modern artists like Wyndham Lewis? Does this have to do with politics (envy towards France's Third Republic) and the stigma that Victorians created for Britain? Did WWI and WWII ensure that British painters would forever remain obscure?

Well I don't agree with your basic argument I'm afraid.

I don't think the world wars had anything to do with the popularity or otherwise of British painters and I'm mystified as to what the "stigma" was that the Victorians created.

What about the pre-Raphaelites?

What about JMW Turner, who was still active during early Victorian times and has influenced modern abstract artists such as Mark Rothko?

What about recent painters of international repute such as Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, and David Hockney?

I think that GOOD painters of every nationality are every bit as interesting as each other. We do have a tendency to pigeon-hole things, so impressionism is associated with (yes) France but extended outside this country. In the same way, landscape painting is often thought of as a British movement, but then there are the landscapes of Claude, van Ruisdael, Cuyp, etc.

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