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Art

Banksy mural picked as British public's favourite work of art

Bristol street artist's 'Girl With Balloon' pips Turner and Constable in poll of nation's greatest artworks

Banksy graffiti

One of Banksy’s most famous pieces – a mural of a girl letting go of a heart-shaped balloon – has been named the British public’s favourite work of art.

Known as ‘Girl with Balloon’ or ‘Balloon Girl’, it was stencilled by the secretive street artist on a wall in east London back in 2002. A painted version of the artwork sold at auction for just over £73,000 in 2012.

The Bansky was more popular than work by Turner and Constable

Topping the national poll, the Bansky was more popular than work by Turner and Constable worth millions of pounds. Even pop superstar Justin Bieber is a fan, having had the pictured made into a tattoo.

John Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’ came second in the Samsung poll, followed by Jack Vettriano’s ‘The Singing Butler,’ JMW Turner’s ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ and the Antony Gormley sculpture ‘The Angel of the North’. Peter Blake’s cover for The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album also made the top ten.

More than 2,000 people voted in the poll, selecting from a long list chosen by arts critics. Only two female artists made the top 20, and just under one-third were produced in the last 25 years.

The British public’s top ten favourite works of art are as follows:

  1. Banksy – Balloon Girl
  2. John Constable – The Hay Wain
  3. Jack Vettriano – The Singing Butler
  4. JMW Turner – The Fighting Temeraire
  5. Antony Gormley – The Angel of the North
  6. L S Lowry – Going to the Match
  7. John William Waterhouse – The Lady of Shalott
  8. Peter Blake – Sgt Pepper album cover
  9. Hipgnosis and George Hardie – Dark Side of the Moon album cover
  10. George Stubbs – Mares and Foals

Photo: Dominic Robinson, under Creative Commons license

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