Unravelling the Art of Stanley Spencer


                               Concepts, Percepts and Meaning (50) (51)
                               Modernism in Art (1).
                  
Stanley's two modes.
                   The nature of Stanley's imagination (55)
                   'Cookham-feelings' and their implications (58)
                   Stanley as a cautious thinker
                   Precision in Stanley's thinking and art.
                   The optical background to Stanley's visual style (56)
                   Contrast between Stanley's observed and his visionary work.
                   Composing visionary paintings.
                   Stanley's use of memory-feelings.
                   Figures (people) in Stanley's paintings.
                   The importance of compositional counterpoint in Stanley's visionary art.
                   Stanley's allegorical use of the principle of the musical fugue (54) 
                              
                   Ruskin and the
Pre-Raphaelites (2)
                   The 1910-12 London Post-Impressionist Exhibitions. (3)
                   Stanley's letters. (5)
                   Slade School of Art and Henry Tonks. (6)
                   Stanley's interpretation of  'Atmosphere'. (7)
                   Direct feeling in Stanley's oeuvre. (8)                  
                   Stanley's interpretation of 'Identity'. (12)
                   Notes on Stanley's painting technique. (14)
                   Gulley Jimpson and The Horses Mouth. (15)
                   Using the Tate Gallery website.                
                           Paintings mentioned :
                      
        Southwold. (4) and (4a)
                      
        Unveiling Cookham War Memorial
                               The 1923 Betrayal.
                               The 1934 Crucifixion.
                               Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta. (44)
                               Apple Gatherers.
                               Zacharias and Elizabeth.
                               The Nativity. (19)
                           Drawings mentioned :
                                The Fairy on the Waterlily Leaf.
                                 Paradise.
                                 Hilda and Stanley dancing.

          Stanley Spencer's Holy Grail 

                   Stanley's 'pilgrimage'.
                  
Quotations on the secrets of happiness and life.
                   Stanley's interpretation of 'Love'.
                   Stanley's interpretation of Hell
                   Stanley's interpretation of 'Peace' and 'Cookham-feelings'.
                   Stanley's 'mantra'.
                   Stanley's spiritual dimension (52)
                   The Christian pilgrimage as paradigm.
                   Stanley's major 'disturbers of the peace'.
                   Stanley as an alter-ego of Christ.   
                   The meaning of 'disciples' in Stanley's visionary paintings
                   The church-house.                         
                        Paintings mentioned:  
                               The Deposition and Rolling Away of the Stone (57)
                               Resurrection of the Soldiers. (20)
            
                               Workmen in the House.
                               The Builders.
                               Love On the Moor.
                               Love Among the Nations.
                               Hilda and Stanley Dancing  (21)
                               St Francis and the Birds. (22)
                               The Centurion's Servant.
                               Patricia at Cockmarsh Hill. (49)
                               The Lovers or The Dustman. (23)
                               Girls Returning from a Bathe.
                               Souvenir of Switzerland.
                               Avalanche.
                               Goats in Switzerland.
                               The Marriage at Cana Series.
                               The Domestic Series.
                               The Beatitudes of Love. (24)
                               Shipbuilding at Port Glasgow.
                               The Port Glasgow Resurrections.
                               Dinner on the Hotel Lawn.
                               Girls Listening.
                               Punts Meeting.
                               Conversation Piece between Punts.
                               Listening from Punts.
                               Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta. (44)                 


        The Beaufort Background to Burghclere                                     
                  
                   Stanley's language and use of vocabulary. (25)
                   Stanley's interpretation of 'atmosphere'. (7)
                   Stanley's use of reversal in composition. (26)                
                   A note on Stanley's interpretation of 'Joy'. (27)
                   Using the National Trust website.
                   The Circle as a sexual image. (28)
                   Hints of youthful homo-eroticism. (29)
                   Fear of damage to painting arm. (30)
                   Interpretation of The Resurection of the Soldiers. (56)
                   The soldier with the moustache (57)                  
                   Glenside Museum website.
                   British War Artists Committee. (31)
                       Paintings mentioned:
                               The Temptation of Saint Anthony. (26) (32)
                              
The Beatitudes of Love : Knowing. (24) (26)
                              
Resurrection of the Soldiers. (56)
                               Cacolets in Convoy of Wounded Men Filling Waterbottles.
                              
        
Travoys

                   British War Artists Committee. (31)
                   Stanley painting Travoys in Cookham, 1919
                   The troopship Llandovery Castle. (53)
                   Salonika and the Macedonian Front.
                   View from Cockmarsh Hill.
                   Stanley's visionary description of Travoys.
                  
Smol church today.
                   Reception of the painting at the first National Exhibition.
                   Results of the attack on Machine Gun Hill.
                   The village of  Smol today.
                  
Nevinson's La Patrie.
                  
Stanley equal to Picasso?

          The Cookham Resurrection

                     The painting. (32)
                     The biographical background to the painting.
                     Marriage with Hilda and its effect.                    
                     Stanley's meaning of 'Love'. (25)
                     Stanley's meaning of 'peace' and 'happiness'. (25)
                     The circular grave markers.
                     Photograph of Spencers with their Clyno car. (33)
                     The significance to Stanley and Hilda of cross-gender.
                     Memory-feelings of youthful homo-eroticism.
                     The psychology of the central panels of the painting.
                     The Instinctive and the Intellectual (see also Comfort-myths (45) )
                     The nature of 'Cookham-feelings' as indicated in the painting. (34)
                     Stanley's difficulties in using Christian symbolism in the painting. (35)
                     Churchill's reaction to the painting. (36)

         The Lovers or The Dustman        

                      Stanley's reasons for returning to Cookham.
                      Cookham-feelings. (34)
                      Stanley meets Patricia Preece.  See also (43)
                      The chop and leg of lamb in the 1936 Double Nude. (37)                     

                      Interpretation of The Lovers or The Dustman.

         
The Last Postscript

 
                                The second Swiss visit and Patricia at Cockmarsh Hill. (49)
                      St Francis and the Birds. (22)                                   
                      Stanley resigns his membership of the Royal Academy. (39)
                      The triangular marriage-scheme.
                      Hilda's reaction to the scheme. (40)                    
                      Stanley marries Patricia Preece. (42)
                      The crucial quarrel at St Ives (51)
                     
Southwold as evidence of the scheme's failure. (41)
                      Stanley's WWII years, his disillusion and recovery.
                      Stanley returns to Cookham to Cliveden View.
                     
Stanley's relationship at Cookham with Patricia, Dorothy and Charlotte.
                     
The effect on Stanley's behaviour of Hilda's death.
                      An interpretation of the meaning death in Stanley's thinking. (44)
                      The closing years of the protagonists.

          Stanley's Vision
                       
                      Comfort-myths. (45)
                      Reversal in Stanley's art. (26)
                      Modernism in art. (1)
                      Stanley's creative impulse (55)
                      Stanley's meaning of 'Shapes'.
                      Stanley's use of counterpoint in visionary paintings.
                      The metaphysical background to counterpoint (50)
                      Stanley's use of figures.
                      Stanley's thinking as a reflection of Bergsonian philosophy. (47)
                      Stanley's language and vocabulary. (25)
                      The significance of the paintings of the 1950s
                      Stanley's 'special meanings' (48)
                      Stanley's mantra.
                             Paintings mentioned :
                                    Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta (57)

Some useful web references:

www.britainunlimited.com/Biogs/Spencer.htm gives a potted chronology of Spencer's life.
www.cookham.com provides comprehensive information and news about the village and about Stanley Spencer there.
www.cookham.com/about/Spencer.htm is the website of the Stanley Spencer Gallery wholly devoted to the artist and his works. It contains a comprehensive list of the Locations of his Paintings.
www.bytrent.demon.co.uk/spencer.html raises a site in which John Durham discusses Spencer's approach to Christian orthodoxy.

Further Reading:

The standard reference work is Stanley Spencer, A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, by Keith Bell, published 1991 by Phaidon. The full Catalogue is exhaustive and expensive, but an abridged softback version at about £27 contains over 300 of Spencer's best-known works, and offers a useful study guide.

Stanley Spencer, Letters and Writings, by the Tate Archivist Andrew Glew, published in 2001 at some £15 by Tate Publications, is an illustrated and fully-annotated chronological selection of the artist's writings, providing unique insight into his developing outlook.

Stanley Spencer by Kitty Hauser, also from Tate Publications 2001 at about £7, offers an introductory overview of the artist's work and life.


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