Country Life’s best art stories of 2018: Monet, Andrew Graham-Dixon and Victorian Photoshopping

We've taken a look back through our archives from the year to pick out our top 10 articles of 2018 featuring the world's most breathtaking, inspiring and inspiring art from all sorts of genres and periods.

The 160-year-old ‘Photoshopped’ picture which shocked Victorian England

The

This fascinating look at the work of Victorian photographers focused on a remarkable work by the great Oscar Rejlander.

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The ancient roman temple which lay under London, undiscovered for over 17 centuries

The

The creation of a new building in central London unearthed a temple to the god Mithras which had lain undiscovered for almost two millennia.

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The paintings which show Monet’s genius for architecture as well as nature

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Think of Monet and you think of reflections and nature, but his works included huge amounts of architecture and other elements of the modern, technological age in which he lived.

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10 glorious paintings which perfectly encapsulate the art of the conversation piece

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A look at this intimate and informal Georgian form of portraiture which celebrated families without the usual swagger or posturing.

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The photographer obsessed with why we all like to be beside the seaside

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Knotted hankies at the ready for this look at some wonderful photographs documenting the British public’s relationship with coastal resorts.

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A moment in time capturing the gulf between architects’ dreams and residents’ realities

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Tony Ray-Jones was one of a generation of photographers who chronicled life in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s, demonstrating the gulf between the dreams of town planners and the reality for the residents.

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My Favourite Painting: Andrew Graham-Dixon

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‘Lesson Number One: it’s the pictures that baffle and tantalise you that stay in the mind forever,’ said the art historian and presenter about this staggering image.

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The Canadian hermit’s work that is a dystopian alternative to Monet

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Canadian artist David Milne moved from city to country, eventually ending up as a hermit in a remote part of his homeland. This key work from that time is simultaneously impressionistic and brutally honest.

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The Van Dyck portrait that shows Charles I as monarch, connoisseur and proud father

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Lilias Wigan takes a detailed look at Van Dyck’s The Greate Peece, one of the highlights of the Royal Academy’s stunning exhibition of the art collected by Charles I.

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How Holman Hunt’s Lady of Shallot was inspired by Van Eyck’s greatest masterpiece

How

Jan Van Eyck’s iconic The Arnolfini Portrait inspired dozens of artists – but none to greater effect than Holman Hunt.

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