London did not initially embrace the renaissance art movement as much as the likes of Florence, Rome, Venice and Paris, but still played an influential role at a later date, which we examine here. British art is best known for contemporary and romanticist contributions but also produced relevant renaissance paintings. Famous Romanticist painters like JMW Turner & John Constable helped to stimulate the later Impressionist artists, and since then British art has held a more prominent position.
London has been covered by different forms of art over many generations and serves as a pictorial diary of changes in the English capital. Claude Monet famously depicted the Houses of Parliament in his famous impressionist style, whilst other famous artists have done similar. London has always held it’s own character and history in comparison to the rest of the country, and this along with its possession of the reins of power have led to many artists covering the city during their career.
The reign of monarch James I marked the beginning of homegrown British talent starting to fully implement the Renaissance styles around London, with architect Inigo James best known. Inigo James’ portico to Old St Paul’s, Banqueting House, Whitehall and the gallery in his name at Somerset House underlined his masterly skills and use of Palladianist principles.
London Renaissance sculpture was an earlier influence with Italians becoming involved around the time of Henry VIII. There were also Renaissance followers from parts of Northern Europe by then who were also consulted and used for London’s artistic development such as the Royal Exchange who sought Flemish contributions.