Originality and characteristics of English painting from the dawn of the Middle Ages to the most recent developments.
[English painting] Art in Great Britain, unlike most European nations, does not lend itself to the usual subdivisions into historical categories. Its insular development has undoubtedly been important for the variations and local traditions in taste, not so much due to isolation and closure as to the advantage of being able to choose among different continental trends. These trends reached the island in various waves since prehistoric times, with the Roman occupation, the evangelization, the Germanic invasions and the Norman conquest, and then through the complex political and religious developments in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and the cultural currents of the Enlightenment, of classicism and the 19th century. These influences led to local reworkings that, in turn, had their own impact on European art, often leading the way in terms of poetics and figurative taste.
This book edited by Michael Kitson focuses in particular on the Baroque period, examining the extraordinary personality of William Hogarth; the Romantic period, with its two extraordinary artists, Constable and Turner; and the Pre-Raphaelite movement, all the way to the avant-gardes of the 20th century, dominated by the figures of Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud.