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Art Everywhere: Lady of Shalott voted nation's favourite artwork


A 19th century masterpiece by John William Waterhouse has been named as the UK's favourite artwork at the launch of what is said to be the world's largest art show.

The 1888 pre-Raphaelite painting, The Lady of Shalott, inspired by the Alfred Lord Tennyson poem first published half a century earlier, triumphed in a nationwide poll by Art Everywhere.

It was commissioned to mark the beginning of Art Everywhere, a showcase of artworks across tens of thousands of poster sites to be staged over a fortnight from Monday.

Pop art pioneer Sir Peter Blake launched the exhibition by unveiling a poster-sized copy of his work The Meeting Or Have A Nice Day Mr Hockney on an outdoor billboard at the Westfield Shopping Centre in London.

The work - which features a self-portrait of the artist - was ranked at number 55 in the list of favourites although Sir Peter saw his sleeve for the Beatles' 1967 album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 14th place.

The upper reaches of the list are packed with familiar names such as Freud, Sargent and Whistler, with Turner's The Fighting Temeraire - painted in 1839 - the oldest work in the top 10, while Cornelia Parker's 1991 sculpture, Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, the most recent.

Although most are familiar sights, the third placed painting - Francis Bacon's Head V1 - is rather more of a specialist work.

The highest-placed Turner Prize winner is Chris Ofili whose No Woman, No Cry is at number 25, while Damien Hirst figures at 48 with Pardaxin.

A 1533 painting - The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger - is the oldest item to figure in the top 50 works, and is placed at number 19.

Art Everywhere will see art plastered around billboards, bus stops, railway stations and shopping centres for a fortnight.

Top 10 favourite artworks:

1. John William Waterhouse, The Lady Of Shalott, 1888.

2. Sir John Everett Millais, Ophelia, 1851-2.

3. Francis Bacon, Head V1, 1949.

4. John Singer Sargent, Gassed, 1919.

5. Lucian Freud, Man's Head (Self Portrait I), 1963.

6. JMW Turner, The Fighting Temeraire, 1839.

7. Alfred Wallis, Five Ships, Mount's Bay, 1928.

8. LS Lowry, Going To The Match, 1953.

9. James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Nocturne: Blue And Gold - Old Battersea Bridge, 1872-5.

10. Cornelia Parker, Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, 1991.