Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sex and spirituality: Stanley Spencer’s ‘visions’ return to Cookham

By Harriet Sherwood
The Last Supper, 1920, with the naked feet and bony toes of the apostles, is the ‘real gem’ of the Cookham collection. Photograph: © Stanley Spencer Estate/Bridgeman Images, London
CAMBRIDGE, UK---Stanley Spencer was one of the most inspirational artists of the 20th century, a visionary who painted real village folk in grandiose biblical scenes, and the creator of the most important artistic first world war memorial in the UK. The 21 works in the new exhibition include Love on the Moor, a subversive celebration of free love which took 18 years to complete. It was first bought by Spencer’s lawyer, Wilfrid Evill, and has been loaned to the gallery by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. The Last Supper, painted as a scene in Cookham malt house, was initially bought by Sir Henry Slesser, a judge and socialist. Spencer lived with Slesser and his wife Margaret for over a year, and included the patron in one of his most famous works, The Resurrection, Cookham. [More]
Stanley Spencer in 1956 at work on Dinner on the Hotel Lawn, the fourth in his Cookham Regatta series. Photograph: John Pratt/Getty Images