Art in the United Kingdom

We admit it, we are anglophiles. From Lincoln Cathedral to Sir Christopher Wren to the Young British Artists.

videos + essays

Illuminating the Psalms in Byzantium
Illuminating the Psalms in Byzantium

Byzantine book illumination was at its most ambitious and innovative in the decorated psalters produced between the 9th and 11th centuries

Illuminated Gospel-books
Illuminated Gospel-books

Kathleen Maxwell describes some of the remarkable illuminated copies of the Gospels to be found in the British Library’s collections.

The English castle: dominating the landscape
The English castle: dominating the landscape

A castle visit can be a haunting experience; the crumbling walls evoking thoughts of medieval warfare. But for historians who can read their messages, castles provide valuable evidence of life in the Middle Ages.

The carpet and the globe: Holbein’s <em>The Ambassadors</em> reframed
The carpet and the globe: Holbein’s The Ambassadors reframed

Everything seems so perfect... Hang on, what’s that in the foreground? And why is that lute string broken?

Ivory Panel with Archangel
Ivory Panel with Archangel

His body swells beneath the cloth, but his feet hardly touch the ground. This awkward angel is part pagan, part Christian.

John Singer Sargent, <em>Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose</em>
John Singer Sargent, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose

Singer Sargent’s evocative canvas turns a sweet, ordinary scene into a symphony of shapes and colors.

William Powell Frith, <em>Derby Day</em>
William Powell Frith, Derby Day

Everyone wanted to have a look at the cast of characters Frith created—their variety provides the modern viewer with a fascinating glimpse into Victorian life.

Gentile Bellini, <em>Portrait of Sultan Mehmed II</em>
Gentile Bellini, Portrait of Sultan Mehmed II

Gentile Bellini's portrait of Mehmed II has been re-interpreted and understood many times since it was produced nearly 550 years ago.

Looted and revered: The Rosetta Stone
Looted and revered: The Rosetta Stone

A conversation with Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker in front of the Rosetta Stone, Egypt, Ptolemaic Period, 196 B.C.E., granodiorite, 112.3 x 28.4 x 75.7 cm (The British Museum)

Ford Madox Brown, <em>The Last of England</em>
Ford Madox Brown, The Last of England

The Last of England is a poignant reminder of the journey made by millions of people during the 19th century.

William Holman Hunt, <em>Isabella or the Pot of Basil</em>
William Holman Hunt, Isabella or the Pot of Basil

Throughout his career, Hunt stayed close to the aesthetic of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in his attention to detail and insistence on narrative content.

A page from the Mewar Ramayana
A page from the Mewar Ramayana

Eleven painted scenes in a single page.