An Artist’s ProgressYear: 1959
Size (cm): 26.92 x 56.39
Collection: © Royal Academy of Arts, London
In 1958 Sir Charles Wheeler, President of the Royal Academy, invited Spencer to paint a mural for the R.A. restaurant. The result was ‘An Artist’s Progress’, which charts Spencer’s rite of passage from his Cookham childhood (left) to the Slade School of Art and finally to his election to the Royal Academy (right). When exhibited at the Royal Academy summer exhibition in 1959, this work was not very well received; one critic reviewed it under the heading ‘The Worst Picture of the Year’ while another argued that ‘If anything was calculated to warn youngsters against a career in art, this should surely achieve it.’
This work is on display in the Royal Academy restaurant in London.
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