England did not have its own school of painting up to the X VI century. In the XVI century art in Britain had dominated by the Flemish artist Antony Van Dyck. Though he lived in England only 9 years his influence on British painting was very strong. He is considered to be the father of the English portrait school.
His teacher Peter Paul Rubens was invited to England by the king Charles I.Then Antony Van Dyck came to England, married the daughter of a lord and stayed in England to his death.
A family group is a masterpiece of his collection of works. It was bought by the Hermitage
Another notable work is self - portrait painted in the days of the artists glory.
William Hogarth is one of the greatest English artists of the XVI century He made his name as an artist painting conversation pieces These little pictures were very popular in England during the XVI century. They represented members of the same family or close friends having tea, playing cards or simply talking to one another.
The masterpiece of the series was the famous Marriage a la Mode. This set of pictures describes a marriage of between the daughter of a rich man and a young lord, the son of old Earl. Their children are together but apart. Hogarths fame is, in fact, based on these moral engravings. They are full of humour. Hogarth said that his pictures were his stage, and men and women were his players
Joshua Reynolds is another outstanding representative of XVI century. Reynold had an opportunity to study in Italy and soon he became a brilliant portrait painter of his time. He also created a lot of pictures based on different myths and legends. He was the principle painter of the Kin g
Reynolds was the first president of t the Royal Academy. He had been the first president for 24 years. The prime purpose of the academy was teaching of the art to the most talented students
Thomas Gainsborough is the symbol of Romanticism in painting of the XVI century. Thomas was born in the family of a prosperous cloth merchant and got an excellent education
Gainsborough was one of the best portraitist of his time, but he considered himself to be a landscape painter
But it was difficult to sell landscapes in England in the XVI century. Landscapes became popular only at the end of the XVI century And thats why Gainsborough tried to combine people and nature on his portraits.
Gainsboroughs works differed greatly from the works of Reynolds and Hogarth. His portraits were simple and full of charm. There were not historical emblems and complicated compositions on his portraits.
Contrary to Reynolds Gainsborough did not value historical painting. All his life he expressed love to nature in his paintings