Perry tapestries crowned favourite ArtFunded work of 2013

  • 18 December 2013

Grayson Perry's tapestry series The Vanity of Small Differences has been voted the most popular Art Fund supported work of 2013, ahead of Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows by John Constable.

The full results

  • 1. Grayson Perry, The Vanity of Small Differences (21%)
  • 2. John Constable, Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows (21%)
  • 3. George Stubbs, The Konguoro from New Holland (13%)
  • 4. Harold Gilman, Portrait of a Black Gardener (12%)
  • 5. Roger Hiorns, Seizure, 2008/2013 (9%)
  • 6. William Larkin, Portrait of Lady Anne Clifford (7%)
  • 7. Pietro Lorenzetti, Christ Between Saints Paul and Peter (6%)
  • 8. Joseph Wright of Derby, Portrait of Dr Erasmus Darwin (3%)
  • 9. Nermine Hammam, Photographs from the Upekkha series (2%)
  • 10. Paul Noble, Villa Joe (2%)
  • 11. Paul Emsley, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge (2%)
  • 12. Martin Creed, Work No. 228: The lights going on and off (2%)

Almost 4,000 votes were cast in the poll, with Perry's tapestries receiving a single vote more than Constable's iconic landscape.

The third most popular work was George Stubbs's Konguoro from New Holland, while Harold Gilman's historically significant Portrait of a Black Gardener was voted fourth.

Fifth favourite was Roger Hiorns's entrancing blue crystal installation Seizure, which Guardian critic Jonathan Jones described as 'one of the truly worthwhile and significant moments of modern British art'.

Grayson Perry created the Vanity of Small Differences, a series of six huge tapestries, alongside his Channel 4 series All in the Best Possible Taste.

Inspired by William Hogarth's painting series A Rake's Progress, the tapestries chart the 'class journey' made by young Time Rakewell and feature many of the characters, incidents and objects Perry encountered on journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and the Cotswolds while making the series.

The works were gifted to the Arts Council Collection and the British Council by the artist and the Victoria Miro Gallery, with the Art Fund supporting a tour of the works around the UK.

The tapestries were exhibited in Sunderland earlier this year, and are on display at Manchester Art Gallery until 2 February 2014. The tour of the works will continue in 2014, with exhibitions planned at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery and Temple Newsam House in Leeds.

Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows is one of John Constable's iconic 'six-footers', his seminal group of paintings that also includes the Hay Wain. 

Constable painted it a year after the death of his wife, Maria Bicknell, when he turned to the church for solace. In July 1834, he wrote: 'I have no doubt of this picture being my best now'.

It was bought for the Tate collection with help from a £619,000 Art Fund grant, with an additional £371,000 to support a tour of four additional museums: Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales); National Galleries of Scotland; Colchester and Ipswich Museums; and Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.

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