1. Snow Storm: Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth by J.M.W. Turner

  • Date: 1842
  • Dimensions: 91 × 122 centimeters (36 × 48 inches)

Storm at sea and shipwreck were important themes in British visual culture in the first half of the nineteenth century. Turner knew like no other how to breathe life into these subjects time and again. Exploring the effects of the elements and the fact that humans are unable to control the forces of nature is reflected in many of his paintings.

This painting shows a ship in distress off the English coast. Legend has it that Turner allowed himself to be tied to the ship’s mast, but that is probably not true. He seems to have said “I didn’t paint it to be understood, but to show what such an event is like”.

2. Ophelia by John Everett Millais

  • Date: 1851-1852
  • Dimensions: 76.2 × 111.8 centimeters (30 × 44 inches)

Ophelia (in English Ophelia) is a painting by the British artist Sir John Everett Millais, completed in 1851 and 1852, which is part of the collection of Tate Britain in London. It depicts Ophelia, a character in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, singing before drowning in a river in Denmark.

The work met with a mixed response when first exhibited at the Royal Academy , but has since come to be admired as one of the most important works of the mid-19th century for its beauty, its accurate representation of a natural landscape, and its influence on artists from John William Waterhouse and Salvador Dalí to Peter Blake and Ed Ruscha .

3. Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge by James McNeill Whistler

  • Date: 1872-1875
  • Dimensions: 68.3 × 51.2 centimeters (26.87 × 20.12 inches)

The painting depicts the old wooden Battersea Bridge across the Thames before it was replaced with a modern bridge. Also visible on the left is the old Chelsea Church (on the north bank of the river), the newly built Albert Bridge on the right, fireworks in the sky. The painting with the evening landscape is full of atmospheric effect. For added effect, the bridge is written higher than in reality. Hokusai, Whistler’s favorite Japanese artist, created a similar painting of a tall wooden bridge with fireworks.

4. The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse

  • Date: 1888
  • Dimensions: 183 × 230 centimeters (72 × 91 inches)

The style of the painting can be described as typically Pre-Raphaelite, in its aesthetic variant, with neoclassical influences and a lot of symbolism.

Waterhouse depicts in his painting the moment of the Lady’s departure in the boat, from a staircase to the left and the faintly visible tower. Not lying down, as she was often depicted before, but with her head held high, she faces death. According to Tennyson’s poem, she would sing a lamentation. Two of the three candles on the prow are out, signifying that the end is near. The cross in front of her symbolizes sacrificial death and indicates a heavenly continued existence.

In accordance with Tennyson’s poem, over the side of the boat hangs an embroidered cloth woven by the Lady of Shalott. It shows images she has seen in her mirror, including Sir Lancelot singing on horseback. They are scenes of a life she has been denied, perhaps also of a life she now intends to discover. At the time Waterhouse paints, the boat is still moored on a chain, which she holds loosely. With the release of the chain and with it her fear of the curse, she seems to free herself.

5. Norham Castle, Sunrise by J.M.W. Turner

  • Date: 1845
  • Dimensions: 90.8 × 121.9 centimeters (35.7 × 48.0 inches)

Sunrise at Norham Castle is anon canvas painting by English painter JMW Turner, painted around 1845. The painting depicts Norham Castle, overlooking the River Tweed, the border between England and Scotland. The painting was bequeathed to the National Gallery of British Art (now Tate Britain) as part of the Turner Legacy in 1856.

It has remained in this collection to this day. It was one of the artist’s last paintings and belongs to his “modernist” period. This work is well known for Turner’s attention to dawn light and the subdued silhouette it presents.

6. The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke by Richard Dadd

  • Date: 1855-1864
  • Dimensions: 54 x 39.5 centimeters (21.2 x 15.5 inches)

Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke (also Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke ) is a painting by the English  artist Richard Dadd that he painted over the course of 9 years at London’s Bedlam Psychiatric Hospital .

Dadd was placed in a hospital after the murder of his father, in which he saw the incarnation of the devil. In the hospital, the artist did not stop writing, and it was there that he created his most famous works, among which is “The Masterful Swing of a Fairy Woodcutter”. The foreground of this small format painting is occupied by an interweaving of herbs and flowers. Behind him, the viewer sees the world of strange fairy-tale characters, who are frozen in anticipation of a lumberjack hitting a hazelnut. The woodcutter is young, of strong build, he is wearing a brown camisole made of cloth or leather, on his head is a hat, from under which wavy reddish hair is knocked out. He stands firmly on the stony ground and with both hands he clutches the stone ax brought up.

7. Giovanna Baccelli by Thomas Gainsborough

  • Date: 1782
  • Dimensions: 226.7 x 148.6 centimeters (89.2 x 58.5 inches)

The Italian dancer Giovanna Francesca Antonio Guiseppe Zanerini was born in Venice and took her mother’s name, Baccelli, as her stage name. She was a principal ballerina in London at the King’s Theatre, Haymarket, where she first appeared in 1774. She reached the peak of her acclaimed career during the 1780-1 season when she appeared with Gaetan Vestris and his son Auguste in several important ballets devised by Noverre.

As one reviewer (quoted in Whitley, p.188) noted, she appears in this portrait in the costume, make-up and pose from a ballet she danced that season, Les Amans Surpris: ‘the artist was not only obliged to vivify and embellish; but, if he would be thought to copy the original, to lay on his colouring thickly. In this he has succeeded, for the face of this admirable dancer is evidently paint-painted‘.

8. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent

  • Date: 1885
  • Dimensions: 174 × 153.7 centimeters (68.5 × 60.5 inches)

In the twilight of a summer evening, two girls in simple white clothes are each busy with a wax stick to light a lantern in the garden. Their faces are illuminated by the warm light of the candles. Dark red and white carnations grow in the long grass, rose canes bloom in the background and also in the lower right corner , and white lilies rise above the girls’ heads. A string is stretched between the rose bushes and a stake, from which more paper lanterns are hung. There is no horizon or foothold to gauge the depth. The viewer looks down on the children from above but seems to be on the same ground.

9. The Age of Innocence by Sir Joshua Reynolds

  • Date: 1785-1788
  • Dimensions: 76.5 × 63.8 centimeters (30.1 × 25.1 inches)

The Age of Innocence is perhaps Reynolds’ most famous work. During the 19th century the painting was much admired and it was copied and reproduced in large editions. It was probably painted in 1785 and exhibited the same year at the Royal Academy of Arts under the name A little girl . However, some sources indicate 1788 as the year of incorporation. The current name was established in 1794 in connection with the publication of reproductions. The original painting was acquired in 1847 by the National Gallery through the care of Robert Vernon and transferred in 1951 to Tate Britain.

The painting shows the profile of a little girl sitting on the grass under a tree. Reynolds was, along with Thomas Gainsborough , England’s foremost portrait painter during the 18th century. He usually painted commissioned portraits of the British upper class. The Age of Innocence was not such a portrait, however, but a type of character study of an unknown child that he painted for his own sake.

10. Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows by John Constable

  • Date: 1831
  • Dimensions: 153.7 × 97 centimeters (60.5 × 38 inches)

Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows was painted by John Constable in 1831 , one year after the death of his wife, Maria. It was hung in the National Gallery in London in 2011, on loan from a private collection. The meaning became clear when Constable connected nine lines of the poem “The Seasons” by the eighteenth-century poet James Thomson to it. The rainbow is a symbol of hope after a storm that follows the death of young Amelia in the arms of her beloved Celadon. Constable exhibited the painting at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1831, but continued to work on it between 1833 and 1834.