Thursday, April 11, 2019

Review: Stanley Spencer, the Peculiar Painter Who Brought Jesus to Berkshire

By Rachel Campbell-Johnston
Stanley Spencer painting Parents Resurrecting in 1933. COURTESY OF THE STANLEY SPENCER GALLERY ARCHIVE
You only have to glance up as you enter, and see the mural-scale picture that dominates the gallery, to know that you’re in the presence of a decidedly peculiar character. Stanley Spencer lifts Jesus Christ away from His usual biblical backdrop and plonks Him down in the middle of the Cookham boating regatta. There, crowned with a quaker’s broad-brimmed black hat, enthroned in a curved wicker chair of the sort that you might more normally find in a sunny conservatory, he preaches from his vantage point in a flat-bottomed punt. A gaggle of schoolchildren is his most immediate audience. [More]
"Parents resurrecting" (1933) by Stanley Spencer. Collection of the National Gallery of Victoria
"The Resurrection, Cookham" (1924–7) by Stanley Spencer. Collection of the TATE Museum