In the 18th century, the triumph of commerce led to the emergence of a new 'middle' class, a group of people who craved pleasure and novelty, and developed its own tastes in art. The result was a golden age in painting, with Hogarth, Reynolds and Gainsborough re-inventing the British style. The story ends in 1805 with the burial of Horatio Nelson, a commoner, at the heart of St Paul's: the supremacy of the middle class assured.
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