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20 Jan 2021

In the painting representing Patricia Preece in the nude, the leg of mutton quaintly appears as reminiscent of the estranged Hilda. . JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. Description: Stanley Spencer (1891-1959) British "Landscape Composition" pencil on paper. Although he often had to do so as a potboiler, he did enjoy sitting out painting in the open watching and relishing the view. 16Not only was Spencer’s œuvre split into two distinct styles but it was also appreciated by two very different sets of art lovers: the art critics mostly commented on and took issue with his figure paintings while the public at large bought his landscapes. 19], or some of his still lifes. —the media embodiment of this nostalgic evocation of Edwardian England that modern British TV viewers enjoyed so much—was shot. This “unevenness between the two types of subject-matter left Spencer feeling “dubious of myself altogether” as he felt that both should move him equally. This was also the case when Spencer’s own private demons came into view like in, ] in which a long frieze depicts men and women of all ethnic origins engaged in embracing, kissing, talking, etc. ], all partaking of conversation pieces opening onto windows. It is also a shared space, that of a community, and it works as a cultural construction answering Kenneth Olwig’s attempt at a redefinition of it as “the substantive meaning of landscape as a place of human habitation and environmental interaction” (Olwig 630). Stanley Spencer, (English painter, 1891 – 1959) Cottages at Burghclere Stanley Spencer allows reality to dominate in his silent landscapes & intimate portraits. These exemplify two manifestations of a landscape turned microcosm. His manner slightly altered. [I]t may be questioned if Mr. Spencer is not showing a better way in working towards unity through what may be called the rough of his native talents” (. Very surprising when compared with what at times reflects the ferociousness and violence if not of the subjects, at least of the deformations the figures are subjected to, is the other part of his production dedicated to landscapes, flowers, and still life paintings. “The Leg of Mutton” was the name of a country pub Hilda Carline, Stanley Spencer’s first wife, and the painter used to go to. 17], in 1927-1930, The Times critic described this work as “the work of a Pre-Raphaelite who has looked at Cézanne […] without a moment disparaging the intelligent applications of lessons from France […]. Mr and Mrs Baggett offers a fascinating double portrait set against a window opening onto a churchyard looming in the background in the most uncanny way. One remembers Iouri Lotman’s definition of literature as “a finite piece of the infinite” (Lotman) which curiously resonates with that of landscape. —several versions of which were painted—displays Cookham’s church and its typically English adjacent churchyard as an overwhelming milieu for the gruesome and quasi grotesque scene taking place in their compound. Spencer referred to Cookham as "a village in Heaven" and in his biblical scenes, fellow-villagers are shown as their Gospel counterparts. Paula Rego’s disjointed fairy-tale characters also come to mind and are to a certain extent reminiscent of Spencer. The English village and the Thames Valley area which Stanley Spencer kept close to his heart and painted all his life, and which he practically never left—except during the wars and for the occasional trip abroad with friends—pervaded even his “figure paintings”. My take is that we can also see this paradox in terms of a conflict of times and a kind of anachronism. London: Penguin Books, 2013. Also see Matless. The Tate keeps his letters (sometimes including drawings) and all kinds of material in its archives and Adrian Glew was entrusted with the publication of some of them. (Bell 256). 21Spencer’s paintings also corresponded to a renewal “of interest in the English garden, best represented by Gertrude Jekyll’s designs and books” (Bell 284). Another later churchyard painting will strikingly appear, as an omen, in another work, that of a double portrait, I will show later. Spencer’s landscape “production” is complex and paradoxical. London: Reaktion Books, 2016. The figures are threateningly dwarfed and we may wonder where the swans are going to end. An unheimlich effect results from the seemingly impossible and weird “association” of people engaged in all kinds of hectic gestures or occupations. For Michel Serres: L’ancien état de nos travaux revient dans le nouveau. One of his most famous series, commemorating the First World War, painted on the walls of the Burghlere Memorial, was presented to the National Trust by its owners Mr and Mrs Behrend in 1947, when the artist was still alive. The long-running Country Houses also set the tune for desirable properties and gardens with herbacious borders, a luxuriance of well watered plants and flowers, and abundance of green grass to sit on in summer to have tea. 2We know that the etymology of land-scape (land+skip, landschaft) actually points to a sight which encloses an expanse of land visible to one’s eye. Tout d’abord, Cookham, la Tamise, le village, le cimetière visible dans la célèbre Résurrection conservée à la Tate, fournissent l’arrière-plan de ses figures d’imagination « distordues » et fiévreuses. Spencer’s landscape paintings were painted in the manner resembling that of the Pre-Raphaelites (with a lot of details and brilliant colours as well as a very present foreground seen at close range), a fact widely acknowledged by critics of the time. or is there another England green and eternal, which will outlast them? https://www.tate.org.uk/​art/​artworks/​hockney-mr-and-mrs-clark-and-percy-t01269. 8], people seem to be flying away in fright in a Cookham street. Paris : Flammarion, 1993. Figure 4: Stanley Spencer, Zacharias and Elizabeth (1913-1914), oil on canvas, 142.6x142.8 cm, Tate collections, https://www.tate.org.uk/​art/​artworks/​spencer-zacharias-and-elizabeth-t07486, last accessed 1 November 2019. As if putting under our own eyes our worst nightmares, those of another suppressed world appearing in a chiaroscuro light, with the texture of their clothes seen under a microscope. 7]. Deeply “eccentric” in inspiration, he was also deeply of his nation in his love for fine landscapes, which he painted and rendered unto his fellow countrymen for keeps, in celebration of: This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,This other Eden, demi-paradise,This fortress built by Nature for herselfAgainst infection and the hand of war,This happy breed of men, this little world,This precious stone set in the silver sea… (Richard II, Act II, scene 1). Slowly became a national artist acknowledged as such of John Constable ’ s paintings spilling! A, 309 Stanley Spencer offers an interesting instance of a landscape then is result! Cambridge Scholars, 2012 ), Photographie et littérature ( co-dir ensures him future recognition even announcing trends... Minds about the two types of gardens a lineage between the French words, the British Pavilion the! 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