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Yorkshire-born artist, David Hockney, is known the world over for his unique brand of Pop Art, rejecting the artistic orthodox and breaking all the rules, whilst continually reinventing his style.

Born in Bradford in 1937, this year sees the artist celebrate his 80th birthday, following a glittering international career spanning almost 60 years that has lead him to be heralded as the most significant living artist of our times.

Although he is perhaps best known for his iconic and vibrant paintings of 60s Los Angeles, Hockney has created a large series of striking paintings of his home region ver the course of the last two decades, in keeping with his insistence on producing subject matter close to his heart.

Unlike much of his earlier work which was produced from photo references, Hockney created a great deal of his Yorkshire paintings on location, along winding country lanes, amid tranquil woodlands and in rolling farmland.


Let there be light: capturing the ever-shifting colour and illumination in God’s Own Country


Hockney’s unfaltering sense of vividness and brilliance is as apparent as ever in his Yorkshire works and he makes no secret about his deep artistic fascination with the region that ultimately moulded him into the artist he is today. Unlikely as it may seem that Yorkshire and the West Coast of America should have anything in common at all, Hockney has affirmed that the two both share “big skies”.

Naturally, big skies require big space and much of Hockney’s Yorkshire-focused art reflects this, often having been painted across several dozen canvases that make up one impressive whole.

Distilling and amplifying the vibrancy of colour that’s innate within the pastoral landscape of the Yorkshire Wolds, he often returned to locations over time to capture the changing light, mood, and scenery.


On display – where to view Hockney art in Yorkshire


The 1853 Gallery, located in the beautiful, Grade II Listed Salts Mill in historic Saltaire, is home to one of the world’s largest collections of Hockney’s work and is an absolute must for fans wanting to glimpse the artist’s creations up close.

What’s more, Bradford Metropolitan District Council will be celebrating the landmark birthday of the city’s famous son in July this year through the exciting creation of a new, permanent display of Hockey’s artworks at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery. ‘The Hockney Gallery’ will exhibit an unparalleled public collection of the artist’s early work, as well as offering a fascinating insight into his life, with a particular focus on his early years in Bradford and across Yorkshire.


Beyond the canvas – visiting Hockey’s Yorkshire landscape

If you fancy a more immersive artistic adventure, why not retrace each brush stroke by visiting the actual Yorkshire locations Hockney brought to life?


Salts Mill – Saltaire

There’s nowhere better to begin the journey than outside Salts Mill itself. This intensely colourful piece merges a romanticised depiction of Yorkshire’s industrial heritage with the rolling greenery of the Wolds, all under soft, golden sunlight. You can get a view of the Mill from the angle portrayed in the painting anywhere near this location on Google Maps.


Three Trees Near Thixendale – Thixendale

This painting is part of a series of four paintings capturing the seasonal transformation of a line of three trees over the course of a year, as the colours and forms change. The trees in question can be found along the road between Thixendale and Burdale, located here on Google Maps.


Garrowby Hill – Garrowby

The dramatically-proportioned, looping road brimming with kinetic force is based on a view from Garrowby Hill, the high point in the Yorkshire Wolds, located roughly here on Google Maps.


Winter Timber – Woldgate Woods

This renowned painting rebels against the traditional rules of art by offering up two conflicting lines of perspective, brought to life by an intense, contemporary palette. The tree stump depicted in the painting, which Hockney refers to as his ‘totem’ has probably become the most famous in Britain since it was immortalised in his artwork, though, sadly, it has since been vandalised in recent years.

The location depicted in the painting is Woldgate Woods – an area of woodland running alongside a narrow stretch of old Roman Road near Bridlington – which inspired a number of other works from this period. The site of the stump was originally located here on Google Maps.


Feel like exploring Yorkshire in a picture-perfect cottage? Our Yorkshire cottages are perfect for painting some beautiful memories together.

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