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Recent Testimonials

Thank you to all customers who have written these testimonials for us in response to the following questions:
– Did the artwork arrive on time, and in good condition?
– Are you pleased with the artwork, and is it as described?
– Where did you find us?
– Would you recommend us to a friend?’
– Other comments.
G.C.  from London purchased ‘Carried Me Away’ by Stewart Wilson, ‘Autumnal Forest 3’ by Jan Rippingham & ‘Fishing Boats’ by Shirley Netherton
Hi Jan
We’re very happy with all elements of your service.
The paintings are great and they arrived superbly wrapped which was a concern when buying art online.
We’d certainly recommend you to friends and would use you again.
L.C.  from Lancashire purchased ‘Orange Poppies on Board’ by Rachel McCullock
Hi Jan
I was very happy with my purchase its a lovely painting, there  was a tiny crease in the board on the bottom left corner but I managed to hide it with the frame. I came across your site through Google and I would certainly purchase from you again. I’ve already told a few friends about your site when they have asked where I bought the painting. I’m currently in the process of moving home and my new place has a lot more space for more artwork so I will be browsing your site again very soon.
L.H from Germany purchased ‘Owl’ by Anastasia Shimshilashvili
The artwork arrived on time and in good condition.
I found your company on the Internet, browsing for original artworks, by British Artists.  I decided that I wanted something original to hang on my walls that wasn’t overly costly, but would set our home apart from those filled with the mainstream prints we could buy on the highstreet.
I would definitely recommend your company to all of my friends who are looking to do the same.
The piece is really just as I had hoped and will dominate our Hallway in our new home…, I’m just looking for a good framing service locally and it will be a fab talking piece for all visitors, I am certain.
I will be back to buy more works once we have moved in.
C.R from London purchased ‘Grand Canal, Venice’ by Jan Rippingham
The artwork arrived in very good condition and was beautifully packed, the only unfortunate thing was that they tried to deliver it on a saturday when the caretaker wasn’t working so I had to collect it from the sorting office, I think it arrived the day after it was sent, so very efficient.
I can’t remember who told me about the website, but I had heard about it from someone, and yes, I would recommend it to a friend for browsing , it was extremely easy to navigate .
The artwork itself was exactly as it looked on the webpage and I am very pleased with it.
N.P from Northamptonshire purchased ‘Craiova’ by Paul Chambers
First time ordering a painting on the net, I was a little unsure but thought I would give it a go and very pleased.
T.H from Middlesex purchased ‘Poppy Field 8’ – Commission by Jan Rippingham
Dear Jan,
Thank you for our beautiful art work! We are more than thrilled with our art piece. It arrived on time and just as you described. My husband and I found you through a random google search. I have already recommended your services to many friends as we were very satisfied with your piece and will likely commission with you again in the future.
P.K from Middlesex purchased ‘Garden 9’ by Jan Rippingham
I recently purchased ‘Garden 9 ‘ by Jan Rippingham. The painting arrived on time and was very carefully packed. It was true to the computer image only the actual painting was much nicer and more vibrant : a real taste of summer. I can’t remember whether I followed a link to the site or whether I just googled  and found it, but I am so glad I did and have since recommended your gallery to my daughter , who was also interested in the wide variety and quality of the artworks.
J.D. from Essex purchased ‘Street Lights 2’ by Aisha Haider
Yes I am very pleased with the painting and the service I received  from your company. The painting is exactly as I hoped and arrived extremely quickly.
Thanks very much and regards,
A.T. from Glasgow purchased ‘The One’ by Aisha Haider
The art work was wonderful, it arrived on time  & was well packaged. My sister-in-law had seen art work on your site & really liked it so we bought her it for her 40th birthday & she loved it.  I would definitely recommend your art work & web site to others.
L.E. from Dunbartonshire purchased   ‘Lovers – Never let me go’  by Carmen Tyrrell 
Dear Jan,
Yes I was very pleased with the service and communication prior to delivery, the art work and it’s description and picture was accurate. Really easy and quick process. I think I just did a google search for artwork. I really liked your website, easy to navigate and clearly presented.
A happy customer, many thanks
D.P. from Middlesex purchased ‘Sea Lavender’ by Tina Robson
I would be delighted to provide feedback.  I purchased ‘Sea Lavender’ for my dad’s 60th birthday and he was overjoyed with the gift.
The artwork arrived within a few days of the order, in good condition & was packaged appropriately.  We are delighted with the piece.
I found the gallery website whilst browsing on the internet for art work.
I would recommend the gallery to friends if they were wanting to purchase art and will certainly look at the site myself in the future.
N.R. from Hampshire purchased ‘Purple Light’ by Steve Hawthorn
Dear Jan,
The art work arrived on time and in excellent condition. We are very pleased with it as it looks exactly like the Internet picture. I found your website via the Matthew Bank art shop website (Jesmond) and would recommend it to anyone looking for unique artwork.
C.E. from Lincolnshire purchased ‘Garden 5’ by Jan Rippingham
Here are my comments for my recent purchase:
 Did the Artwork arrive on time and in good condition? Yes it was a very fast efficient service and undamaged
Are you pleased with the Artwork, and is it as described? Yes I was very pleased with it and more importantly so was my friend as this was a 50th birthday present. She loved it!
 Where did you find us? Used google
Would you recommend us to a friend? Absolutely
Other Comments: Beautiful painting, would love to own one myself…..perhaps for my 50th!!
P.B. from Fife purchased ‘A Winter’s evening, Basingstoke Canal, Ash’  by John Hurr
The painting arrived on time and was excellently packed.
It was with some trepidation that I purchased a painting on the internet but all my fears were unfounded.
I just found Rippingham Art by browsing the internet but would not hesitate to recommend you to anybody.
My only other comment would be that the painting, in real life, has stronger colours than depicted on your website, but this does not detract from my enjoyment of it.
It has now been framed and is hanging on the wall to be appreciated.
J.P.  from Staffordshire  purchased ‘Forest Brook’ by Oleg Riabchuk
The painting arrived very quickly and in good condition although it had not been strung so I could not hang it until Jan sent the D rings and cord.
I Googled oil paintings / galleries / etc. and found artonline among others.  As soon as I saw Forest Brook it attracted me.
I already have recommended you to several people.
I was worried about buying a painting online without actually seeing the real thing but the 14 day trial period gave me the confidence to go ahead.  All my queries were dealt with promptly and efficiently and Jan was very supportive.  I love the painting and often as I walk past it I have to stop and look at it, then I forget where I was going.
G.M from Berkshire  purchased ‘Pisces Diptych’ by Rachel McCullock
Jan, Thank you for your efficient service. Pisces Diptych arrived, well packed and in good condition, just in time to be presented to celebrate our daughter’s 50th birthday. It now graces her entrance hall in St Albans and looks superb there. I located you by internet search and congratulate you on your web site. Please convey our admiration of her work to Rachel McCullock. Best wishes for the New Year.
E.C from Inverclyde purchased ‘Red Poppies’ by Oleg Riabchuk
Dear Jan,
I did receive the art work in very good time- thank you!
Think I found you just by searching original art work and then when I saw a number of your paintings which I liked, I then went on to your site.
Many of your paintings, which I liked were already sold and so I continued to search your site.
I am very happy with my purchase.
I most definitely will recommend you to friends and family.
Thanks for great service.
L.S. from Norwich purchased ‘The Last Walk of the Day’ and ‘Sunset behind the Gasworks’ by Martin Whittam
In response to your e-mail I can confirm that the commission was received on the day we requested delivery, both paintings were in excellent condition.
We found your site using theYahoo search engine, we will use your site in the future and would not hesitate to recommend it to family and friends.
Most efficient and helpful service, we were kept informed at each stage of our commission progress, first class customer service, well done.
S.H from Kent purchased ‘Poppies 2’ by Jan Rippingham
Yes very pleased with painting, thank you.  It arrived promptly and extremely well wrapped.  I commissioned Jan to paint this for me and was very impressed with the fact that I was able to make a few changes along the way, as she sent me photos of the work in progress, so what I received was exactly what I wanted – very impressive.
I found you on Google and have already recommended you to friends !



D.V from  Surrey purchased ‘Snow Patrol’ by Mervyn Tay
“Snow Patrol” is great and my brother-in-law loved his b’day present
Eventhough it was no longer in stock at the time of the order, your gallery went above and beyond in contacting the artist to commission another painting in time for my brother-in-law’s birthday!
Thank you very much for your efforts.  I was very impressed with the service.
The website was easy to traverse and I liked the in-depth bio of each featured artist.
I would highly recommend the site to friends and, in fact, have already done so.

I will definitely revisit the site to purchase further art pieces.

C.P from Devon purchased  ‘First Snow’ by Jan Rippingham

The piece of art by jan is very nice, its in the process of being framed and cant wait to hang on our lounge wall.
It arrived in excellent packaging with no damage at all. The whole process was very plesant indeed and i will be recommending the site to anyone i know who is looking for any art.
Thanks for lovely picture and easy nice uncomplicated transaction.
D.B from Cambridgeshire purchased 6 prints by Theo Booth
I am delighted to say that I am so pleased with the 6 Theo Booth prints I recently purchased. They arrived quickly and were extremely well packaged.
The prints are beautiful and work really well on my stairs and landing – they look fab!
We were looking generally at art on the internet and came accross your site whilst searching Google.

I have had friends comment on the prints and always tell them where I bought them, they do generate many comments!

M.B from Perth & Kinross purchased ‘Tour De France 2012’ by David Reeves Payne

Yes the painting arrived very promptly and beautifully wrappd to protect.
It was in perfect condition and David had included a certificate of authentication.
I found your web site through google.
I would certainly recommend you and have already done so to friends.E.H from Kent purchased ‘October 2’ by Jan RippinghamThe painting arrived on time and was just what I wanted, it was in very good condition and I am very pleased with it. Looks perfect in my lounge. Thank you.A.G from Kent purchased ‘Golden Sky’ by Aisha Haider-Yes-Yes-Browsing the internet-Yes-Really like your website, easy to navigate-My wife really liked the idea of showing the paintings in a room setting , helps a lot
P.S from Switzerland purchased  ‘Garden 6’ by Jan Rippingham

-It arrived in perfect condition – excellent packaging. It took longer than expected but this was due to Swiss customs, nothing you can do about that.

– I’m very pleased with it – the description and picture on your website were accurate.

-Can’t remember exactly but it was an internet search.

-Already have!

-How do I go about commissioning another painting from Jan?

 J.L from West Sussex purchased  ‘Early Morning Landscape’ and ‘Tuscan Fields’ by Jan Rippingham<
-My father is very pleased with the paintings. He loves them!
-From an online search.
-From my point of view, my father has been very pleased with your response to his queries and your helpfulness (he had queries about framing for example).
S.M from Essex purchased ‘Autumn Mist in the Woods’ by Aisha Haider, and ‘San Giorgio Maggiore’ by Jan Rippingham.
The artwork arrived promptly and well wrapped. I am extremely pleased with the work and it looks better in real life.
I found you on line through Google, actually searching for galleries to visit. I would definitely recommend you to a friend, in fact, my family have already been told!
Best art gallery web site I found!
Many Thanks. I’m sure I’ll be using you again.
T.G from Oxfordshire purchased ‘Working Narrowboats’ by John Lowerson.
The painting arrived today, and is wonderful. I wondered about buying art online, but your returns policy gave me confidence. The watercolour exceeds my expectations – it looks even better than it did on the screen.
It is just what I have been searching for.
M.H from London purchased ‘Poppies’ by Oleg Riabchuk.
yes thank you, it arrived on time & in good order, & yes i am pleased with it, the more i look at it the more i like it, I found you through a artist, & most certainly i would recommend you to my friends, and others,all good stuff, i will probably be buying more some time soon.
J.K  from Leicestershire purchased ‘Morning Flight’ by Beth Nicholas.
– Yes it did – quicker than I expected!
– Yes- I had already seen it at an art fair so I knew what to expect.
– I received a link from the artist herself.
– Yes
– It was very easy to use your site. Thank you!
N.B from Lancashire purchased ‘Summer Morning’ by Oleg Riabchuk.
-The artwork arrived within 4 days of placing order and in perfect condition – excellent service.
-Very pleased with the painting, the website photograph doesn’t do it justice!.
– Via Google.
-Without doubt.
– Excellent site offering an extensive range of art which is easily accessible – only a ‘click’ away.
P.Q from Suffolk purchased ‘A Place to Dream’ and ‘Memory Tree’ by Jean Tatton Jones.
My purchases have just arrived (only 2 days after I ordered them) and were in pristine condition. They are beautifully presented and along with the certificate of authenticity, I received a personal greeting card from the artist.
I am delighted with my experience of shopping with you and with my purchases.  I’d like to say a huge thanks and I shall certainly be making recommendations of your website.
Best wishes for continued success in the future.
S.M from Surrey purchased ‘Surrey Hills’ by Jan Rippingham.
We’re so please with ‘Surrey Hills’ which is perfect and everything I had hoped for. On the whole I think your site is fantastic, very user friendly and the option to see the painting ‘in situ’ makes all the difference.
J.T from Middlesex purchased ‘The Height of Summer’ by Jan Rippingham.
Delivery was on time and the painting was in perfect condition. My daughter loves the painting (it was a birthday present) so do I.
I found the gallery on the web, and yes I would recommend you to a friend.
D.H from Cornwall purchased ‘1223-1’ by Paul Chambers.
Just received the picture from Paul Chambers, it is stunning. Excellently wrapped and very prompt service. I would definitely use your site again.
J.B  from Surrey purchased ‘Surrey Fields’ by Jan Rippingham.
-Yes, arrived quicker than expected, well wrapped in in good condition.
– Loved it, moving house later this year otherwise I’d have already bought another (I saw an autumn colours one, that’ll be one for next year/ after I’ve moved and when I know what my new house looks like).
-Googled you.
– Absolutely.
– I would have bought a larger one, potentially 1.5 to 2 times bigger if available, perhaps it was and I missed it, but I think a larger version would look fantastic, worth considering..
L.M from Warwickshire purchased ‘Cavalcade’ by Stewart Wilson.
The art work ordered from you site arrived as scheduled  and in first class condition. It was well wrapped and  on opening we were delighted by our selection . We returned to the site in order to purchase our second choice but sadly that had been sold.
R.K from Essex purchased ‘Cottage Garden 4’ by Jan Rippingham.
-Did the Artwork arrive on time, and in good condition? Yes and it was on time
-Where did you find us? Google I think
-Would you recommend us to a friend? Yes
– Other Comments:
The website is really easy to use
The selection of pieces is great
Pricing seems good – with a good range to suit all levels of buyer.
You were really helpful in getting this sent on time overseas for my friend’s wedding.
Really great service and I’d definite;y use you again.
Thank you.
I.K from Somerset purchased ‘At The Piano’ by Zhana Viel.
-Did the Artwork arrive on time, and in good condition? Yes and yes.
-Are you pleased with the Artwork, and is it as described? Yes and yes again
-Where did you find us? Internet search
-Would you recommend us to a friend? Yes
Personal thanks for speed of response. Website easy to access and visually effective.
R.Z from London purchased ‘Abstract 2 The Bridge’ by Jan Rippingham.
Yes, the artwork arrived on time and I am very pleased with it. One thing I could recommend is that you could follow up with an email notifying the purchaser that the artwork has been dispatched etc.

However, the piece arrived in excellent condition and I would purchase again if I found another piece to interest me.


W.G from Buckinghamshire purchased ‘1214’ by Paul Chambers.

I have just received my delivery, so quick, of Artwork 1214 by Paul Chambers. We have been looking for a piece of art to hang in a specific place in our home for 3 years. I came across your site and knew my problem was solved. I love Paul’s work and couldn’t be happier with the picture.


T.C from Middlesex purchased ‘The Plough’ by Jan Rippingham.

I was very pleased with ‘The Plough’.
I wanted something for the bedroom and felt looking at it seemed relaxing plus I liked the way the light was done and the manner the tree line had been broken. I looked through quite a few sites before choosing this painting as I felt it was good value and had something extra compared to the other things I had seen.
I found you via web search engine and would recommend you if a friend was looking to purchase a picture.
B.D from Cornwall purchased ‘Rapeseed 2’.
I can confirm that both  paintings arrived on time and in good condition.
I am very pleased with both,  although the edges of Rapeseed 2 are a bit rough in places and could have been finished better.
I found your site quite by chance on the internet, and was immediately attracted by these two paintings in particular – although there were others I would also have liked to buy. The way in which paintings are displayed on your website (with furniture in a domestic setting) makes it easier to appreciate how they will look when received and  hung.
I will certainly recommend Rippingham’s to friends/family considering buying artwork.
I appreciated the way my order was handled,  particularly the efficient way it was despatched and the advance information I was sent about when to expect delivery.
I hope to do business with you again in the future.
C.S.Q from Hampshire purchased ‘Garden 4’ by Jan Rippingham
The paintings arrived thank you.  They were ordered by my Mum, the one by yourself was a present from her to my daughter for her 21st birthday which she absolutely loves. my mum wanted to give her an original piece of art that will last and this is perfect, something for her to treasure. Thanks again, she will enjoy it very much.I will be recommending the site to friends.
P.S  from  the West Midlands purchased ‘Wind’ by Anastasia Shimshilashvili
Hi – I have received my painting today as promised. I am so delighted with it – it is even better than I expected. I adore it!  Please let the artist
know that I think her work is stunning.
Thank you so much, it has been an absolute pleasure dealing with you.
D.L from Essex purchased ‘Girl’s Head’ by Letts Sculptures

yes the artwork arrived on time and in good condition.
yes I would recommend you to a friend.
M.W from Kent purchased ‘Tower Bridge Velocity’ by Stewart Wilson

To let you know that ‘Velocity’ by Stewart Wilson was received in excellent order,on time and we love it .
I found your website through a google search ( I think) and had it bookmarked for ages.
I would definatley recommend your website and artists to friends..
L.U.  from West Yorkshire purchased ‘Hummingbird’ by Victoria Stothard
My artwork is beautiful and better than described even my husband is now in love with it ;and wants it back in the front room where it was situated after unpacking as he likes to see it and from a non artistic person who does not understand abstract I think it speaks for the beauty of the painting. It arrived in perfect condition and when there was a delay in the delivery which i queried following confirmation of dispatch ,your service was outstanding in chasing and keeping me informed . I found your website via google when looking for a Victoria stothard painting which I had seen and fallen in love with; and after the fantastic service I received from yourselves from order through to delivery I have already been recommending you to friends who appreciate art.
I am hoping that after xmas I will be in a position to treat myself again to another artwork and I guarantee I will be ordering through your company.
K.W.  from West Sussex purchased ‘Memories’ by John Letts.
The artwork arrived quickly, well packed and in excellent condition.  I was thrilled with it.  I have a number of other pieces by John Letts, and I wanted this for my collection.  I discovered you on the internet, and would certainly use you again.
Many thanks.
D.W. from Lincoln purchased 3 Ceramic pieces 
Yes, thank you, they arrived on time and in good condition. I am very pleased with them though the lidded stoneware container by Yuriko Hill is less than 12 cm high, not he 15 cm declared on the site. I found you by just looking on the internet for vases. Yes I would recommend you.
D.K. from Bristol purchased ‘Summer Meadow 3’ by Jan Rippingham
Hi Jan,
We are really pleased with the painting and it has pride of place in our sitting room.
The painting arrived at my place of work within 3 days of ordering and was packaged really well. Once opened we just placed it on the wall.
Your web site is really user friendly and I particularly liked being able to see the size of paintings in situ as we were looking for a large painting to go above a new fireplace we had just had fitted and yours looked perfect!
Everyone who has seen the painting has commented on it and love the bright colours.
With thanks and best wishes
Comments from our Artists 
Alison Johnson –
‘The site looks great, love how you display the art, it looks extremely professional. Lovely to see a ‘real artist’ has set a site up for a change. I wish you all the best with it.’
Jason Keeley-
‘The site works really well – very robust and cleverly designed.’
Paul Chambers – 
‘You have an excellent site – easy to use and I am satisfied with the results I have had in the short time I have been with you. Look forward to many more sales.’
Gail de Cordova-
‘This all has such a good energy about it – I was so pleased to be approached by yourselves as have had quite a few online galleries that were asking me to join for quite a big subscription fee and they had naff work on there too!!
I was so pleased and surprised to sell a print so quickly, especially as I had only uploaded a couple of images and haven’t even put on half of what I would like to!
Your online gallery is a breath of fresh air, I have to say!’
Carrie Hill –
‘I sent one piece of work to you for your approval, and to see if I had done everything right – what an amazing surprise to find that the print has sold! I am delighted, and will now put further work on your website and hope for the same luck.
Thank you! ‘


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John Lowerson’s Watercolour

Bring your old car or motorbike back to life with a watercolour by John Lowerson
My new watercolour paintings, especially my motorbike paintings, represent a new direction for me. Prior to this my work primarily comprised working in 3 dimensions and to a larger size, perhaps installation pieces for specific places. The notion of making a watercolour of almost any subject, provided it interests me, is all very exciting and I enjoy the challenge.
Creativity is always going on and always will. It is a ‘live’ thing. I used to make bespoke individually designed pieces of furniture, and I still make plywood kayaks for my own amusement, they’re great fun, all part of the making process. As an artist you must be forever curious. I continue to produce my watercolours, and they are very popular, perhaps more popular than any work I have made previously. I am working towards being an artist who works to commission, that is a complete endorsement of ones work. My watercolour paintings, on average, are usually around 42cm x 28cm, on high quality watercolour paper. They are signed, and supplied unframed and unmounted.
I am always more than happy to discuss commissions, maybe of your car or bike, or any other idea you may have. Please just contact me via Rippingham Art.
-John Lowerson

watercolour by john lowerson



To see more of John’s work –
For more information on how to commission artwork –

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Wheel thrown, high fired, Porcelain & Stoneware – My Processes by Alex Shimwell

My Processes
My Porcelain ware is of a highly controlled and refined aesthetic. These pieces are gas fired for 12 hours, and under reduction for the final 9 hours from 850 degrees. Gas firing is a smokeless firing and the cleanest way to obtain a reduction firing, allowing me to create precise and accurate pieces exhibiting a high degree of control.
My Stoneware and Crank ware is fired under a rolling reduction in a fast fire wood kiln for 2 days, deposits of ash particles melt into the clay and glaze producing unique and varied results. The aesthetic of these pieces is very energetic and naturally reminiscent of the tors and edges of the peak district where I grew up.
A reduction firing is one where the kiln fuel is starved of the oxygen it needs to burn. The oxygen is therefore removed from the body and glaze on the pot, and replaced by a carbon atom, thus changing the molecular composition of the glaze and the crystals that are formed, drastically altering the colours and effects produced.
View Alex’s work in our Ceramics section
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What was the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood?

pre-raphaelite blue plaque
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was formed by a group of English painters in the 19th century. They longed to return to the tradition of history painting, but with a realistic representation of the beauty of nature, believing that art should no longer be at the expense of truth. Looking to their predecessors they found the ‘Grand Manner’, the artist Raphael and his High Renaissance followers to have been initially responsible for this idealisation. They rejected the belief in the ‘unimprovability’ of Raphael which was still upheld by the Academy and its Schools. Raphael was known to have forgone a truthful aesthetic for one of pure beauty, one that he had himself approximated from classical ideas of beauty. His work, to these young artists, lacked a sincerity in its execution. They concluded that in order to restore true realism they must return to a period in history before Raphael, to a time when artists were honest craftsmen, leading to the name Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
Raphael was known to have abandoned a faithful portrayl of nature, and instead of painting a model here, had imagined a type of beauty and painted this ideal.
The movement was started in 1848 by three young artists, Dante gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, and John Everett Millais. They studied engravings of famous 14th and early 15th century frescoes in the Campo Santo in Pisa, taking note of the strong linear style of drawing and frieze-like arrangement of figures against architectural backgrounds. They were also heavily influenced by the writings of art critic John Ruskin which criticised contemporary art. Ruskin held a belief in the divinity of the natural world and asserted that great art could only be made by painting ‘without deviation from one line of the actual truth.’ They were also influenced by  medieval culture and Romanticism. Rossetti was an aspiring poet and wanted to form a link between romantic poetry and art. The aim therefore became to paint everything from the model or motif as meticulously as possible whilst trying to recreate historical, literary, or biblical scenes.
The Brotherhood would be joined by four more members, William Michael Rossetti, Thomas Woolner, James Collins and Frederic George Stephens. They adopted the, at the time uncommon, practice of painting over a pure white ground in order to give their work a luminosity, translucency and brilliance.
They first exhibited their work in 1849, with ‘Lorenzo and Isabella‘ by Millais as the piece which attracted most attention for its colour, dramatic realism and precise rendering of faces.
The first works received both praise and criticism and the reference to early Italian art was noted. All artists agreed to sign their name and the initials ‘PRB’ on heir work.
‘Christ in the House of his Parents‘ was shown in 1850. Millais stayed true to Pre-Raphaelite principles in his use of his own father as the model for the head of Joseph, and a real carpenter as the body to show correct muscle structure. This painting, along with ‘The Annunciation’ by Rossetti, was subject to heavy attacks by critics. The extent of these was so great that Rossetti vowed never to exhibit in public again. Millais’ work was considered blasphemous and called ‘perverse’, and Charles Dickens wrote that it was ‘odious, repulsive and revolting’. The criticism was largely due to the Pre-Raphaelite position on realism, and the challenges this posed to the prevailing notion that art should present an idealised view of the world. This was compounded by the young ages of the artists, making their criticism of the art of their elders even harder to accept. At this time, some of the artists disbanded and even others who continued to work in the Pre-Raphaelite style ceased to sign their work ‘PRB’.
There were defenders of the Brotherhood, namely Prince Albert, the artist Ford Madox Brown, and John Ruskin, who wrote two letters to The Times in their defence. With this support, fortunes began to turn, and the next exhibition included the masterpieces ‘The Hireling Shepherd’ by Hunt and ‘Ophelia‘ by Millais.
Millais used model Elizabeth Siddal, later Rossetti’s wife, and created a beautiful and haunting painting depicting the suicide of a beautiful virgin – high romantic subject matter.
The artists would also produce work of real life subjects dealing with a moral, social, or ethical problem and in doing so, comment on contemporary society. Ford Madox Brown’s painting ‘Work’ (1852-1865) aims to capture work in all its forms, revealing the whole social structure of society in one composition.
The group lost cohesion after 1853, with the move of Hunt in 1854 to the Holy Land in order to paint truly authentic biblical paintings. The influence of the group continued to grow, however, and inspired artists such as John William Waterhouse, John Brett, Evelyn de Morgan, Philip Calderon, Arthur Hughes, Gustave Moreau and Frederic Sandys.
The group disbanded into two seperate strands, the medieval strand inspired by Rossetti, and the realist strand. Both Hunt and Millais moved towards the realist aspect, with Millais ultimately abandoning Pre-Raphaelitism altogether after 1860. Rossetti’s later work with model Jane Morris became an influence on the work of William Morris. The work of Morris’ company came to influence many interior designers and architects and so the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood had come to ignite an interest in medieval designs.
One of the most well-known later Pre-Raphaelite paintings is ‘The Lady of Shalott‘ (1888) by John William Waterhouse. This painting is a representation of a scene from the poem of the same name by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Even though it has elements taken from the earlier Neo-Classical style, it is typically Pre-Raphaelite in composition, tone and subject matter, depicting a beautiful, vunerable and doomed woman bathed in natural light and painted in meticulous detail.
The influence of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was felt well into the 20th century, and although artistc ideals moved away from realistic representation with the advent of Modernism, the work of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood has seen an increase in appreciation and major revivals in popularity.
There is currently an exhibition at the Tate gallery: ‘Pre-Raphaelites:Victorian Avant Garde.’
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What is Surrealism?

What is Surrealism?
See some examples of Surrealist work 
‘Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.’ – Salvador Dali.
Surrealism began in the 1920s. Many of the Surrealist artists began working in the Dada movement, an avant-garde European art movement of the early twentieth century which prized nonsense and rejected reason. The term Surrealist was first used in 1917 before the proper artistic movement had started. It was used by Guillaume Appollinaire in the preface to his play ‘Les Mamelles de Tiresias’.
Surrealism wasn’t used as a name for the movement until 1924 when Andre Breton published the Surrealist Manifesto, also published under the title ‘Soluble Fish’. The manifesto acknowledged the influence of Dadaism and stated that the Surrealists were non-conformists. Breton was a poet, and the movement began as a literary one. It came to be a release from all previous restraints for writers and artists, the aim being for all parts of the movement to explore the world of psychic experience and denounce rationalism.
Sigmund Freud had recently revealed his psycho-analytic research and this greatly influenced the Surrealists. One of their aims was to preproduce the mechanisms of dreams. In doing this they would bring dream and reality together to create an absolute reality – a ‘sur-reality’ which has greater significance than realiy itself, rather than being a mere copy of what we see.
Surrealist art can be seen as a return to representational art, depicting ordinary objects although often stripping them of their normal significance. It disorientates the viewer and disrupts their sense of reality, creating a dream-like narrative sometimes bordering on nightmarish. Surrealism was set apart from other Realist movements by the desire to let the deepest thoughts in the recessses of our mind take over. The inner more ‘primitive’ self and the real functioning of thought would be revealed. Automatic writing (writing that is not done on a conscious level, and therefore can reveal the innermost thoughts of the writer) was a technique used by Freud as it allowed images from the subconscious to come to the surface, and this idea of the ‘automatic’ became very influential in Surrealism. Freud was later to criticise the movement, however, saying that the works were not manifestations of the subconscious, as they were highly shaped and processed by the Ego of the artist, and therefore the conscious mind.
The Bureau of Surrealist Research (Centrale Surréaliste), Paris, became the meeting place for Surrealist writers and artists to hold discussions, and conduct interviews. The first group exhibition was held in Paris in 1925.
Surrealism continued to develop and became more visible to the public at large throughout the 1930s. A Surrealist group developed in Britain and, according to Breton, the1936 London International Surrealist Exhibition held by these artists was a high water mark of the period and became the model for further international exhibitions.
Major artists of the Surrealism movement include;
Giorgio De Chirico
Unanimously acknowledged as the founder of the surrealist aesthetic. His painting ‘The Red Tower‘ 1913, shows the illustrative style and striking colour contrasts which came to be adopted by other Surrealist artists.
Max Ernst
Used frottage (taking a rubbing from a surface using a pencil or other drawing tool) as an automatic method of creative production. He also used collage to create unexpected juxtapositions, taking cuttings from magazines and then manipulating their arrangement.
Dorothea Tanning
Tanning joined the Surrealist group after visiting the New York Dada and Surrealist exhibition of 1936-7. Her paintings depict nightmares and surreal, erotic dreams. One of her most famous examples of this is ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik‘ (1943) which depicts young girls encountering supernatural events. The girl in the foreground seems to be drawn towards the sunflower by the approaching vines while the girl wearing torn garments in the background holds one of the petals from the flower, suggesting an encounter has already taken place.
Man Ray.
His rayographs (objects placed on photographic material in a darkend room, and then exposed to light to create the images of the objects) created the stark and unexpected effects of negative imaging, and unusual juxtapositions of identifiable objects.
Rayograph 1924
Joan Miro
In his Surrealist period Miro developed ideas by letting his mind wander. This was seen to free the mind, revealing the real process of thought in the same way as automatic writing. ‘ The Tilled Field‘ 1923-4 is seen as his first Surrealist masterpiece. A complex arrangement of figures and objects with the dualities and contradictions inherent in his work of this period.
Some of the most recognisable works of the artistic Surrealist movement were created by Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte.
Salvador Dali
Dalí joined the group in 1929, and participated in the rapid establishment of its visual style between 1930 and 1935.
He would mix everday objects painted in meticulous detail with a context that is wholly unfamiliar to that object, creating a surprising or seemingly incoherent composition. ‘The Persistence of Memory’ 1931, is an example of this, and one of the most widely recognised Surrealist paintings. Here Dali introduces the idea of the soft melting pocket watch which was perceived to have been inspired by the Theory of Relativity. The relaitivity of space and time and the collapse of our notions of a fixed cosmic order. Dali maintained, however, that the watches were inspired, not by The Theory of Relativity, but by the Surrealist perception of a Camembert cheese melting in the sun. The central figure, of ambiguous shape, can be perceived to be a ‘fading’ creature – one which often appears in dreams where the dreamer cannot pinpoint the creature’s exact form and composition.
Rene Magritte
Magriite’s work is tightly finished and artificially created using realistic objects but in a fantastical setting. It was more representational than ‘automatic’. His use of ordinary objects in unfamiliar surroundings plays with reality. This juxtaposition was, he said ‘a union that suggests the essential mystery of the world. Art for me is not an end in itself, but a means of evoking that mystery.’ His images, often beautiful, can also provoke unsettling thoughts.
It has been said that Surrealism as an organised movement effectively disbanded after WWII. It can be argued, however, that it continued until the death of Andre Breton in 1966, or even that of Salvador Dali in 1989. What is clear is that the symbolism, techniques, and disdain for convention central to Surrealism certainly lived on and profoundly inspired American art of the latter 20th century. The practice of automatism, for example, was part of the basis for the Abstract Expessionist movement. It influenced the work of artists such as Jackson Pollock. Pollock is quoted as saying that he was ‘in’ his drip paintings as he worked on them, unaware of what he was doing until he stepped back from them afterwards.
View Surrealist artwork on this site here.
Surrealism- Related Links:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Cover Image: Lost Illusion by Svetoslav Stoyanov
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Submission Advice

  • You can submit as many pieces of artwork as you like,with up to 4 images for each piece. The first being the main image, and up to 3 further thumbnail images to show detail etc. We find that paintings which have additional side views, details and, where possible, ‘in situ’ images have a considerably increased chance of selling.
  • Under the heading ‘Price & Details’ there is also an Attributes tab, allowing you to add media, surface, and style to each piece of artwork.
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What is Impressionism?


 The term ‘Impressionist’ was first used in response to the artwork ‘Impression, Sunrise‘ by Monet, exhibited in 1874. Art critic Louis Leroy coined the term and used it to describe the works in the exhibition put together by the Société Anonyme des Peintres, Sculpteurs et Graveurs (Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors and Engravers). Monet’s piece was an impression of the atmospheric effects of the morning sea Le Havre Harbour. The term was originally intended to be derogatory as works were deemed ‘unfinished’. Leroy wrote in his review ‘a preliminary drawing for a wallpaper pattern is more finished than this seascape’. The artists, however, came to think of Impressionism as a good name for their work although they never actually used it for their exhibitions. Originally the Impressionists did not intend for their work to be a reaction against the academic art of The Salon* but rather they mounted the exhibition in order to sell their work.

 Since all the artists painted different subject maters, an exact definition of Impressionism can be difficult. As a group they believed that the personality of the artist should be visible in their brushstrokes and technique. They painted real life, trying to be truthful and paint subjects relevant to their time. They aimed to create fleeting impressions of scenes in order to capture the sensation of that particular moment.

The main artists of the Impressionism movement were Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas.

Monet kept true to his intentions all the way through his life and didn’t change direction unlike many other Impressionist artists. For him Impressionism was a way of capturing the atmosphere and feel of a moment, for instance the effects of light, water and vapour.

Renoir was largely a figurative painter. He felt that his Impressionist art lacked a sense of something more permanent and began to draw on classical tradition and the work of the old masters to improve this aspect of his work.

Degas was a painter of people, fascinated by movement but mostly interested in painting gaslit interiors, going against the ‘en plein air’ painting favoured by other artists. He had a classical training and brought more figure painters to the Impressionist group.

Another feature of Impressionism was that female artists began to participate. Berthe Morisot , Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, and Marie Bracquemond were all members of the Impressionist group.  These four women lived in Paris and exhibited work that was as innovative as those of their male counterparts. It was a time when a strict code of social rules was in operation for women. Each overcame daunting obstacles to contribute to the development of Impressionism. Morisot, Cassatt, Gonzalès, and Bracquemond negotiated not only personal challenges but also those posed by the conventional ideas of acceptable behaviour for women of their period.

 The contrast between the ideas of The Salon and the new Impressionist ideas can be seen clearly in ‘Les Parapluies‘ by Renoir. Part of the painting has the looser brushstrokes of Impressionism and the rest shows the influences of true Classical Tradition which interested Renoir in his later work as a way of creating something more solid. ‘The Beach at Trouville’ (1870) by Monet uses loose white brushstrokes to suggest the presence of bright sunlight.

Bathers at La Grenouille’ (1869), shows the early stages of Impressionist artists using dashes of paint to create light effects. Degas too used loose brushstrokes and visible strokes of pastel in his later works such as his series of portrayals of bathers in the 1880s, although not necessarily to indicate a strong light source since throughout his life he had preferred to paint indoors.

Another feature of Impressionism (although they were not the first to use it) was the concept of ‘en plein air’ painting. This was particularly favoured by Monet and Renoir. It was made possible in the practical sense by the invention of the paint tube and ready-made canvas in the nineteenth century. Monet’s ‘Ladies in the Garden’ and ‘The Beach at trouville’ 1870 were painted outside, and both have a feeling of bright sunlight about them. The ‘en plein air’ technique helped Monet to more effectively capture the sensations of light by which he was fascinated.

This interest in light effects also led to the use of a light gound on which to begin painting. The light ground enabled colours to appear brighter and almost luminous. Areas of the canvas could also be left unpainted so that the light ground colour was visible beneath the paint to create a greater feeling of light.

Bright colours were used in Impressionism as another way of expressing emotions or capturing the particular sensation of a moment. Impressionists tended to favour lively and often unrealistic colours for these reasons. An expressive use of bright and not necessarily local colours is visible in Monet’s ‘Bathers at La Grenouille’ (see above) where red has been used as a way of capturing light on a dress. A popular technique featured in Impressionism was that of of putting complementary colours beside one other in order to to reinforce and identify the colours. This is shown in ‘Boating on The Seine‘ by Renior in which the reddy-brown of the boats and the blue of the water sit next to each other, enhancing the colours.

 Impressionism also began to make use of new influences such as Japanese art and photography. The influence of Japanese prints is another Impressionist feature visible in ‘The beach at Trouville’ by Monet. Japanese prints were linear, not using modelling, depth or perspective, and expressed a love of nature which appealed to the Impressionists, and they found the art to be very truthful. The influence of photography can be seen in ‘Garden of the Princess‘ by Monet. The painting shows a view of the garden from an unusual angle which has quite a casual effect on the painting, as if it was a photograph capturing a moment of moving people and carriages. This topographical subject matter shows developments taking place in Paris at the time, and although views of Paris were not innovative subject matter, it was a casual view of day to day life without aiming to show either the seedy or glamourous side of the city.

There were 8 exhibitions by the Impressionist group between 1874-86. Monet only exhibited until about 1880, after this newer artists such as Georges Seurat and Camille Pissarro were called the Neo-Impressionists. Seurat’s masterpiece, ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte‘ (1884) marked the beginning of the Neo- Impressionism movement when it first made its appearance at an exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants in Paris. Seurat and his followers strived to refine the impulsive and intuitive artistic mannerisms of the Impressionists. A disciplined network of dots was used in their desire to instil a sense of organisation and permanence in their work. Following the development of colour theory by Michel Eugène Chevreul and others by the late 19th century, the influence of optic and colour perceptions also became apparent as the movement was further refined.


* The Paris Salon (Salon de Paris), began in 1725 and was the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. Between 1748–1890 it was the greatest annual or biannual art event in the Western world. Conservative, academic juries of awarded artists would make decisions about the art that was to be put on show.

Related Links – Impressionism:

Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny

Cover Image: Beach Walk at Old Hunstanton by Mary Kemp

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What is Cubism?

 See examples of Cubist work 
 Cubism was invented and pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Its most innovative period was from 1908 until 1914 and the outbreak of World War I. It influenced both painting and sculpture and stemmed from the work of Cezanne and his analysis of form. The 1907 retrospective of Cezanne’s work at The Salon D’Automne in Paris created a huge amount of interest in his paintings which simplified forms and reduced them to planes and facets. They displayed his interest in finding the underlying geometric shapes in objects. Picasso said Cezanne ‘was like the father of us all.’
It was an important 20th century movement because for the first time the motif was no longer the most important aspect of the artwork. It seeked to create autonomous works that did not necessarily seek to represent anything. Cubism was not about creating forms with solidity, but rather planes and lines which seem to slide over one another. Objects were broken down and them reassembled, often being shown from more than one viewpoint.
It was Picasso’s painting ‘Les Demoiselles D’Avignon‘ (1907) which influenced Braque and pushed him towards the formulation of a movement with Picasso. It was angular and aggressive and considered to be shocking. In the early stages of their work, both artists began to gradually reduce figures or landscapes into geometric shapes. This is visible in ‘Houses and Trees’ by Braque, and ‘Three Women’ by Picasso. They were joined in the movement most notably by Jean Metzinger, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, and Raymond Duchamp-Villon who exhibited together and became known as the ‘Salon’ Cubists.
There were two main phases of Cubism, Analytical Cubism and Synthetic Cubism. In Analytical Cubism, forms are further reduced, and are not necessarily in their correct positions, often distorted. This can be seen in Picasso’s ‘Female Nude’ (1910), and in the sculpture ‘Head of a Woman‘ (1909).
Picasso and Braque’s worries that in Analytical Cubism they had strayed too far from the motif led to the more representational Synthetic Cubism. In this phase images, such as ‘The Harlequin’ (1915) by Picasso, have been synthesised. They are formed by objects, painted planes, colours and shapes which themselves have no reference to the subject matter but which together create a representational image.
Cubism spread throughout Europe in the 1910s, and attracted artists such as Fernand Leger who adapted Cubism in a personal way, characterised by tubular, fractured forms and bright colours. Cubism also influenced artists to form the new movement ‘Orphic Cubism’ which focused on pure abstraction and was concerned with the expression and significance of sensation. Artists such as Robert Delaunay continued to use the fragmentation of Cubism, but added colours based on the composition of light. See ‘Windows Opening Simultaneously‘. He had been partially responsible, along with Frantisek Kupka and Sonia Delaunay, of reintroducing colour into Cubism during its monochromatic phase.
Cubism influenced Futurism with its use of planes and lines and gradual move away from the motif. Techniques inherited from Cubism became vital to the Futurist artists as ways of suggesting the dyanism of life. In particular the Cubist tendency to show multiple views of the same object, suggesting that the object is being seen at two different points in time.
Cubism was an important stage in the development towards abstract art, and the use of geometric shapes and interlocking planes was particularly influential to Piet Mondrian‘s personal progression to complete abstraction. These became crucial in his journey towards the entirely non-representational style for which he is now most famous, Neo-Plasticism.
Related Links – Cubism:
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Cover Image: Pablo Serrano “Entertainment with Picasso the Guitar and the Cubism 17 Bronze Sculpture 1984” by Aleseide Gallery
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What is Abstract Art?

What is Abstract Art?
Abstract art indicates a departure from reality in the depiction of imagery in art. Abstraction relies on the presence of the viewer to bring possibilites of meaning to its presentations of forms, colours, patterns, forms, shapes and textures. Abstract art demands the effort of imagination, a creative response. The departure from accurate representation can be only slight, partial, or it can be complete.

Abstract Art 2 The Bridge‘Abstract 2 The Bridge’ by Jan Rippingham

Western art, from the Renaissance until the middle of the 19th century, had been underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. From the early years of the twentieth century, painters and sculptors in the European traditions of art consciously sought radically new ways to represent their experience of the world. They set out to create an art that would reveal aspects of reality that seemed inaccessible to the techniques and conventions of figurative art, which was seen by many artists as a limitation on their capacity to represent the actualities of experience. New realities discovered by science, the new politics of social democracy, industrial technology, and advances in photography and film, all entailed rejection of those old forms of art which sought to imitate the appearance of things and invention of new forms that would reveal hidden revelations. The words ‘new’ and ‘modern’ were to become keywords. The Modernist The poet Ezra Pound’s 1934 injunction was “Make it new!.
There was no ‘abstract art movement’ as such, but many manifestations of a powerful trend in modern art away from the representation of recogniseable objects in pictoral space.
Expressionist painters explored the use of distortions, exaggerations, and intense colour, producing emotionally charged paintings that were reactions to contemporary experience, and included reactions to Impressionism and other more conservative directions of late 19th century painting. Expressionists sought to change the emphasis from subject matter to the portrayal of psychological states of being.
In the 20th century, it was Cubism, along with Fauvism, that directly opened the door to abstract art. Cubism had not set out to abolish representation, but was intent on reforming it. Pablo Picasso’s first Cubist paintings were based on Cézanne’s idea that all depictions of nature can be reduced to three solid forms: cube, sphere and cone.
The first major exhibition to survey the various international tendencies towards abstract art and the trend for abandoning traditional representation was put on at MOMA NY April 1936. The title given by the catalogue was ‘Cubist and Abstract Art’ with the description;
‘The pictoral conquest of the external visual world had been completed and refined many times and in different ways during the previous half millenium. The more adventurous and original artists had grown bored with the painting of facts’.
The selector and author of the catalogue was Alfred H Barr. Barr acknowledged that the term ‘abstract’ was inexact but possible alternatives were rejected. ‘Non-objective’ and ‘non-figurative’ were considered unacceptable on the grounds that the image of a square can be as much of an ‘object’ or ‘figure’ as the image of a face landscape. The work within the exhibition was not purely ‘abstract art’ but the intention was to demonstrate the various paths taken by painting towards abstraction.
The trends have continued, artistic movements ever since have experimented with the limits of pure representation, and the freedom of expression provided by abstract art is something that many artists have responded to. Arbitrary colour, vehement brushwork and exaggerated textures, collage and other disruptions of the surface, distortions of the figure and other forms are among the diverse devices adopted. In many cases, what would once have been regarded as preliminary techniques, or rough workings, has come to be regarded as artwork in its own right.
Ultimately it can be argued that abstraction has not superseded representational art but has taken its place alongside it, discovering new possibilites of vision.

Abstract Art Vaslui

‘Vaslui’ by Paul Chambers
Related Abstract Art Links:
MOMA | The Museum of Modern Art
Cover Image: Summer Landscape 3 by Jan Rippingham