artists Famous Artists from United Kingdom

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List of the most popular artists from United Kingdom, with biographical information and photos when available. For centuries artists have been among the world's most important people, helping chronicle history and keep us entertained with one of the earliest forms of expression. Whether they're known for painting, sculpting, etching, or drawing, the famous British artists on this list have kept that tradition alive by creating renowned pieces of art that have been praised around the world. You can find useful information below about these notable English artists, such as when they were born and their place of birth.

Among the famous English artists on the list are Young British Artists alum Damien Hirst, English graffiti artist Banksy, and four-time Turner Prize nominee and sculptor Richard Long (he finally won on his fourth try in 1989). 

For further information on these historic and modern British artists, click on their names. If you're a fine art lover, use this list of celebrated British artists to discover some new paintings that you will enjoy.

Francis Bacon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Artists from United Kingdom
Photo: Alvaro Tapia/Flickr

Francis Bacon was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his bold, emotionally charged and raw imagery. His painterly abstracted figures are typically isolated in glass or steel geometrical cages, set against flat, nondescript backgrounds. Bacon took up painting in his early 20s but worked sporadically and uncertainly until his mid-30s. Unsure of his ability, he drifted as a highly complex bon vivant, closeted homosexual, gambler, interior decorator and designer of furniture, rugs and bathroom tiles. He later admitted that his artistic career was delayed because he spent too long looking for subjects that could sustain his interest. His breakthrough came with the 1944 triptych ...more

Artworks: Painting (1946), Figure with Meat, Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, Figure in a landscape, Composition (Figure), + more

Birthplace: Republic of Ireland, Dublin

Nationality: United Kingdom, England

Art Forms: Painting

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Lucian Freud is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Artists from United Kingdom
Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-2.5

Lucian Michael Freud, OM, CH was a German-born British painter. Known chiefly for his thickly impastoed portrait and figure paintings, he was widely considered the pre-eminent British artist of his time. His works are noted for their psychological penetration, and for their often discomforting examination of the relationship between artist and model. ...more

Artworks: Two Japanese Wrestlers by a Sink, Woman with a Daffodil, Girl with a White Dog, Francis Bacon, Sunny MorningEight Legs

Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

Nationality: United Kingdom, England

Art Forms: Painting

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Gillian Wearing is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Artists from United Kingdom
Photo: via Tumblr

Gillian Wearing is a film director. ...more

Artworks: Sixty minute silence, We as Warhol in Drag with Scar, Secrets and Lies, Me As Arbus, Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say, + more

Birthplace: Eurasia, Birmingham, Warwickshire, United Kingdom, West Midlands, + more

Nationality: United Kingdom, England

Art Forms: Installation art

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Damien Hirst is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Artists from United Kingdom
Photo: Freebase/GNU Free Documentation License

Damien Steven Hirst is an English artist, entrepreneur, and art collector. He is the most prominent member of the group known as the Young British Artists, who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s. He is internationally renowned, and is reportedly the United Kingdom's richest living artist, with his wealth valued at £215m in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List. During the 1990s his career was closely linked with the collector Charles Saatchi, but increasing frictions came to a head in 2003 and the relationship ended. Death is a central theme in Hirst's works. He became famous for a series of artworks in which dead animals are preserved—sometimes having been dissected—in ...more

Artworks: For the Love of God, Mickey, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, Verity, Mother and Child, + more

Birthplace: Bristol, United Kingdom

Nationality: United Kingdom

Art Forms: Installation art, Painting

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