Constable Country, by Chris Orr RA

This work, a preparatory drawing for The bits Constable left out, is on show with The Miserable Lives of Fabulous Artists series by Chris Orr RA, exhibited in the Keeper’s House at the Royal Academy of Arts from 2 February – 9 August 2018.

Please note that, if purchased, this unique framed work is available for collection only from the Royal Academy of Arts by appointment with the Art Sales team.


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Artwork details

Artist Chris Orr RA
Medium Drawing
Colour White/Multicolour
Dimensions 41 x 30cm
Fabric & material Watercolour/ Paper
Unique work

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Artwork description

As part of the ongoing Academicians in Focus series, The Miserable Lives of Fabulous Artists exhibition presents around 28 new unique works on paper by Chris Orr RA. His eclectic range of subjects includes some of the great names from art history, such as John Constable, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Frida Kahlo, Edvard Munch, Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso, all of whom he depicts using a characteristically humorous visual language. With extraordinary attention to detail, Orr portrays each artist in a scenario that elaborates inventively around well known elements of their life and art.

‘Artists have a lonely job and success is often elusive,’ says Orr. ‘Life in the studio is not all it’s cracked up to be, but it is there that dross can be turned into gold. Each of my Miseries is subjected to the cliché and reputations that haunt them.’

‘In [Constable’s] The Hay Wain, 1821, reproductions, and the National Trust mise-en-scène, the chocolate-box image of rural bliss, set in a pre-mechanised age, suggests that though many were ragged and unschooled, they were happy with the simple things. A golden age of ignorant bliss. A sign at Flatford Mill suggests the horse and cart in the painting are fording the river. Surely, they are in the middle of the millpond to water the horse and rest after the back-breaking work of transporting the harvest? Life was not a charming idyll. The honesty of Constable’s painting has been reassigned.’
Chris Orr, 2018

Artist Sales: This work is sold by the artist. The sale is facilitated by RA Enterprises (RAE) for which RAE receives a commission from the artist only.