Controversial street artist Banksy has been named the UK’s favourite artist of all time in a poll we conducted in conjunction with YouGov to celebrate the release of our annual Art Issue. The renowned artist took the lead over more traditional artists such as Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh.
The poll, of more than 2,000 UK adults, asked respondents to name their favourite artist of all time. The Top 20 features a range of artists including impressionists, sculptors, masters and painters from the 14th century right up to the modern day.
Our Editor, Mel Sherwood, says: “It is both surprising and exciting to see Banksy at the top of this poll. His appearance in the top spot is reflective of the current popularity of street art, which is a burgeoning collecting area. This enigmatic character has done so much to make art accessible – he takes it out of the gallery walls and onto the streets, literally. And with his dark sense of humour and secretive approach, he truly has captured the hearts, minds and gaze of the nation.
“It is also pleasing to see so many artistic genres covered in the UK’s top ten. We’ve got Romantics, Surrealists, Renaissance masters and Impressionists as well as street artists – it’s an eclectic mix that reveals how diverse the nation’s cultural interests are. This all-embracing love of art is one of the reasons we compile an Art Issue every year at Homes & Antiques; to celebrate and explore a collecting field that the Great British public clearly adores.”
Banksy, the anonymous British street artist, is the only living artist to make the Top 10. His works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. More recently, Banksy courted controversy by shredding his celebrated artwork ‘Girl With Balloon’ just after it had been sold for over £1m at Sotheby’s auction house in October last year.
The UK’s top 20 favourite artists of all time:
Vincent van Gogh
Leonardo da Vinci
The annual Homes & Antiques Art Issue is out now and features a guide to contemporary art, artistic interiors, and a photographic feature – Still Life In Real Life.
Main image: Jack Taylor / Stringer / Getty Images