british art illustration icon
October 28, 2012 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Anybody have any examples of iconically British artwork and illustrators?

Like, you look at them and just kinda "know" where they originated, or there's at least a very strong association.

I'd like to see something from a large body of work, rather than something that just exists by itself. I know about the art for Monty Python and the Beatles...anyone know of anything else?
posted by jumelle to Media & Arts (33 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
George Cruikshank was the first person to come to my mind.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 2:32 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Banksy. London Transport typography and graphic design. Constable. Turner. Damien Hirst. Tracey Emin.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:36 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Illustrators: Helen Oxenbury. Beatrix Potter.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:45 PM on October 28, 2012

How about Edward Bawden?
posted by bcwinters at 2:46 PM on October 28, 2012

Kit Williams of Masquerade fame.
posted by Lorin at 2:51 PM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

David Hockney?
posted by penguin pie at 2:54 PM on October 28, 2012

Ronald Searle. Graham Laidler (a.k.a. Pont). David Low, although he was originally from New Zealand. Steve Bell. Martin Rowson.
posted by pont at 3:00 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

For me this is Turner.
posted by Specklet at 3:03 PM on October 28, 2012

Edward Ardizzone
Pauline Baynes
Also have a look at the many posters done for London Transport
posted by zadcat at 3:03 PM on October 28, 2012

Kate Greenaway.
posted by thomas j wise at 3:04 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

John Tenniel's illustrations for 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking-Glass'.
Also Beatrix Potter.
posted by mdrew at 3:09 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

William Hogarth
posted by phunniemee at 3:09 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Quentin Blake?
posted by James Scott-Brown at 3:29 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Edward Lear
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:36 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Freud, Damien Hirst and yes, Banksy. Also Quentin Blake?
posted by bquarters at 3:36 PM on October 28, 2012

Arthur Rackham illustrated countless fairytales and children's stories in the late 19th/early 20th century. In my opinion he is iconic and most people will recognize his work, if not his name.

There is also Aubrey Beardsley, who died young but left behind a lot of elaborate pen and ink illustrations and juicy erotica.
posted by Marit at 3:41 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Edmund Dulac also did work in a Rackhamesque style. He was born in France but emigrated to England.
posted by zadcat at 3:49 PM on October 28, 2012

The first two people I thought of, as someone from the US, are Ronald Searle and Quentin Blake.
posted by Juliet Banana at 3:53 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

E.H Shepard did the orignal illustrations for both Winnie the Pooh and Wind in the Willows.. hard to think of more English subjects!
posted by Erasmouse at 4:01 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

L S Lowry has to be there for north western England.
posted by Jehan at 4:23 PM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

Beryl Cook also often strikes me as being "of" her country.
posted by Jehan at 4:26 PM on October 28, 2012

Precursers to Ronald Searle, Gerald Scarfe and Steve Bell: David Low and James Gillray.

Also Heath Robinson and, of course, Spike Milligan.

If you include photographers, I'd say Martin Parr.

Lastly, George Cruikshank.
posted by dumdidumdum at 4:34 PM on October 28, 2012

A lot of people would recognise newspaper cartoons by Giles or Matt as cultural archetypes. Less so with young folks, sadly, who might do with a dose of Willy Rushton, too.
posted by cromagnon at 5:05 PM on October 28, 2012

I've thought of a couple more: Gerard Hoffnung and Thelwell.

(cromagnon: thanks for Willie Rushton -- I've enjoyed his works in the past but for some reason never stopped to wonder who the artist was.)
posted by pont at 5:42 PM on October 28, 2012

Bridget Riley's optical art.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 6:33 PM on October 28, 2012

For my money, Hogarth is even British-er than Cruikshank or Gillray, etc. I think Martin Parr is another excellent suggestion.

Stanley Spencer is another painter who might qualify.

I think of the classic D.C. Thompson comics - The Beano, The Dandy, etc., (and similarly Viz comic) as being as British as could be.
posted by misteraitch at 3:19 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also (I just remembered) Donald McGill.
posted by misteraitch at 4:41 AM on October 29, 2012

I immediately thought of Jamie Reid.
posted by Skyanth at 7:53 AM on October 29, 2012

The Chris Beetles Gallery in London is the place to buy high end British illustration. He has a lot of Quentin Blake, EH Shepard, Ronald Searle, Thelwell and Heath Robinson and many other artists you won't necessarily have heard of.

For example: the internet has lots of cats in costume. But for high end illustrations of cats in costume... Susan Herbert.

There are lots of well known and arguably iconic artists not mentioned above - like more modern ones like Simon Drew, Matt Pritchett, very famous in their time ones like George Soper and Louis Wain, ones who are famous for something specific like Fred Barnbery (who illustrated the Paddington Books), Frank Hampson (Dan Dare), Joan Hickson (Postman Pat).

Beetles covers some very iconic Victorian and Georgian artists as well as a lot of the up and comers and current Royal Academicians.

I would also add David Shrigley onto the list too.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:54 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Gainsborough, Turner, Constable, Stubbs, Lowry
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:20 AM on October 29, 2012

Definitely Heath Robinson.*

Peter Blake.**

Jeanette and Allen Ahlberg. (Charming, kids books.)

Shirley Hughes. (Also charming, kids books.)

Nicola Bayley.

That guy that did all the airbrushing, what was he called? Alan Aldridge.

*Illustration Colossus.

**Very serious artist
posted by glasseyes at 3:52 PM on October 29, 2012

Oh my goodness yes, Beatrix Potter. Talk about iconical.
posted by glasseyes at 3:53 PM on October 29, 2012

Another vote for Jamie Reid.
posted by gonzo_ID at 11:35 AM on October 30, 2012

« Older Dating advice for shy people?   |   Keeping it grimey? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.