Gainsborough named in top 10 favourite artists

BETWEEN them, they epitomise 18th and 19th century British art but a poll has revealed that today’s modern artists prefer one to the other.

In a top 10 list compiled to find the nation’s favourite artists, it seems the great John Constable is not fashionable right now.

Organisers of The Other Art Fair polled 1,000 current artists to find out who “did it” for them.

Sudbury’s most famous son, Thomas Gainsborough, came in at a respectable seventh place, while John Constable – famed for his sweeping landscapes of the Dedham Vale area now known as Constable Country – did not make it on to the list.

Sophie Wood, museum officer at Gainsborough’s House museum in Sudbury, said: “We are delighted Thomas Gainsborough has made it to seventh in the poll.

“Perhaps it is a fashion thing – he is at the forefront of people’s minds with a big exhibition in Bath at the moment of his landscapes.

“His work is quite interesting as he did landscapes and portraiture, which made him quite unique.”

Nick Champion, from the National Trust, which looks after Bridge Cottage at Flatford in the heart of the Dedham Vale where Constable painted, said it all came down to opinion.

“I’m not surprised in this case as it was a poll of artists by artists and I don’t think he is fashionable at the moment – not many landscape artists are,” he said.

“We know that he is still up there for the many hundreds of thousands of people who visit Flatford each year.

“Constable’s paintings are not only internationally important in terms of the development of art but they are a snapshot of East Anglian life nearly two centuries ago.

“They show us how much and yet how little this gem of an area has changed over the years.

“You can still stand in the very spot that the Haywain was painted and that is a special feeling.”