Our Collection

18th Century British Painting

The 18th century saw the appearance of distinctly British styles of art. It was a golden age for portrait painting , represented in the Southampton collection by Reynolds, Gainsborough, Lawrence and Romney. Towards the end of the century landscape become a subject in its own right, initially encouraged by the fashion for picturesque art. Gainsborough and Wright of Derby made their names as portrait artists but were more interested in landscape painting later in their careers. Watercolour also became a popular and particularly British medium.