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The paintings of Stanley Spencer

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The paintings of Stanley Spencer

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The paintings of Stanley Spencer

"A village in heaven" was how Sir Stanley Spencer described Cookham, his Thameside birthplace, and the inspiration for many of his hundreds of drawings and paintings depicting scenes of idyllic English rural life. Today, though the village has changed a good deal, it is still possible to walk in and around Cookham, and recognise what inspired Spencer’s work.

At Westward House, stands the magnolia tree immortalised by Spencer. The Ferry Hotel inspired Dinner On The Hotel Lawn, one of the Cookham Regatta series of paintings. A homage was paid to this painting in July 2000 during Cookham’s Millennium celebration, when the scene was re-enacted in tableaux, with Spencer’s grandson John depicting him working on the painting.

Cookham was the setting for Spencer’s New Testament paintings depicting pivotal biblical events occurring in the village. The Resurrection, Parents Resurrecting and The Angel were inspired by its church and churchyard.

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Your comments

Stanley Spencer could only be English. His art is quirky and visionary. He sums up the real sense of Englishness with works like 'Resurrection Cookham.' His Burghclere Chapel is so powerful since it is the First World War at one remove. His love life could fill a novel as well.

Elizabeth Chubb


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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye

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