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stanley spencer landscapes

This study will focus on Spencer’s two “manners” and analyse the extent to which his landscapes contributed to the fashioning of a nostalgic yearning for a quickly disappearing world also celebrated in E.M. Forster’s taste for “England green and eternal” (Abinger Harvest) for instance. Ecological Landscape Design and Planning. My take is that we can also see this paradox in terms of a conflict of times and a kind of anachronism. The figures are threateningly dwarfed and we may wonder where the swans are going to end. Bien qu’il dût souvent le faire pour des motifs économiques, il aimait cependant s’asseoir en plein air pour peindre sur le motif. As if putting under our own eyes our worst nightmares, those of another suppressed world appearing in a. light, with the texture of their clothes seen under a microscope. In July 2020, Sotheby’s expects Cottage Garden, Leonard Stanley, a 1940 garden landscape by Stanley Spencer (whose landscape art has been widely popular), to fetch over £300,000 at auction. with its decorated frame (the bridge) its fine colours (deep blue, brown), its composition following a movement going left to right then back to front, and its bucolic, mundane, almost pastoral theme (although the swans are captured and bound) is weird and slightly frightening. “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. Le mot latin pagus désignait le champ que l’agriculteur labourait : terme si ancien et vénérable que le paganisme des païens, comme le paysage d’un pays, modelé patiemment par les paysans, lui empruntèrent tous cinq leur nom, religieux ou culturel. This obsession of his enabled him to combine his private (religious) vision and his taste for landscape, a grim one in this instance. 6], or Unveiling the Cookham War Memorial [fig. It is true that his work, deeply rooted in the English soil, space and history, seems for a major part relatively immune to foreign influence, although he had his post-impressionist moment, something visible in Mending Cowls, Cookham [fig. Then landscape painting broke away from its status as mere background for high subjects be they religious or mythological scenes for History painting, as in Giorgione’s or Poussin’s paintings, or for portraits of noble characters in Gainsborough’s own work. 4 Bell 272, quoting the letter from Stanley Spencer to Desmund Chute, letter n°52 c. 1927, SSG (Stanley Spencer Gallery). This is the case with, Although the landscapes in the background are often recognizable as Cookham or the Cookham area, their pictorial treatment contributes to the oneiric quality of the paintings. Doesn’t the front cover of Norton’s Anthology of English Literature’s seventh edition, volume 2, dedicated to the romantic period, Victorian literature and the twentieth century, reproduce Swan Upping at Cookham? Spencer’s landscapes responded and contributed to the fashioning of a particular nostalgia for a quickly disappearing rural world people could still connect with, reminiscent of happy memories and times gone by (see Tinniswood). Karen Jacobs, Ashgate, 2011) et The Pictorial Third: An Essay into Intermedial Criticism (Routledge, 2018). Thus, the publisher Norton acknowledges the British quality of the painting and its subject, but it also cleverly promotes one of the close-to-cubism or Gauguin-inspired pictures by Stanley Spencer in keeping with modernism and its literature. of the Virgin Mary. Figure 2: J.M.W. Read your article online and download the PDF from your email or your account. Their light is silver English light. (Bell 256). Stanley Spencer was a very well known British controversial artist of the 20th century. He even went as far as signing his letters with: “Love from Cookham” (Spencer 50). Even in Freud’s landscapes we may find similarities: for instance if we compare Spencer’s Merville Garden Village Near Belfast [fig. Doesn’t the front cover of Norton’s, seventh edition, volume 2, dedicated to the romantic period, Victorian literature and the twentieth century, reproduce. It gave pride of place to a peaceful valley softly unrolling beneath the eye in tones of yellow and green. These were often the result of a commission or made under pressure from his gallery owner Dudley Tooth. Still some of the local sites he was so fond of are perfectly recognizable in both. Bowie is a Spencer enthusiast and collector who here shows rare footage of the artist in selections from home movies as well as recollections from family and friends. They are the result of centuries of work inscribed/written on the landscape like handwriting on a page. 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. He loves to paint nettles and grasses leaf by leaf, blade by blade, as they did. or is there another England green and eternal, which will outlast them? option. 6In his own strange way, Stanley Spencer offers an interesting instance of a kind of conflicting production concerning his work on landscape. 23], could compare with Mr and Mrs Baggett [fig. For it then represents the epitome of Britishness under the name of … “Britannia”, aptly chosen by the Central Office of Information (COI), as one of its leaders explains: “The idea is to sell—or should I say to project—an image of the British character. The paintings of cottages, moors, Thames valley sites, villages tucked down hillsides, are rendered in a highly detailed realistic manner, a favourite of collectors’. Painted in April 1940. 19], or some of his still lifes. 20Writing about Cottages at Burghclere [fig. 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. Figure 15: John Constable, The Vale of Dedham (1828), oil on canvas, 144.5x122 cm, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, https://www.nationalgalleries.org/​art-and-artists/​4766/​vale-dedham, last accessed 1 November 2019. Landscape, Cookham Dean, Berkshire c.1939 Stanley Spencer (1891–1959) Landscape, Cookham Dean, Berkshire c.1939 Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery Portrait of Daphne Charlton 1941 Stanley Spencer (1891–1959) In the painting representing Patricia Preece in the nude, the leg of mutton quaintly appears as reminiscent of the estranged Hilda. Very surprising is the other part of his production dedicated to landscapes, flowers, and still life paintings. Stanley Spencer most valued his figure paintings, which he found innovative and creative, and deeply regretted having to paint landscapes and still lifes to make a living. The idealized vision of an English village promoted by, was also after all re-captured in such TV popular productions as the, Spencer’s backdrop landscapes for his “figure paintings”, “It so happened that I was born in Cookham”, Looking back on the past: celebrating British villages and landscape painting, Some thirty years ago I was taken to Cookham by friends and visited the Spencer Gallery and the site of, . A fact which also might explain why they were so popular and sold well. Il s’agit là souvent d’œuvres de commande. actually points to a sight which encloses an expanse of land visible to one’s eye. Select the purchase Paris : Gallimard, 1973. 23Nostalgia and jingoism explain the success of those “lovely” pictures, although people did not perceive the slightly or discreet uncanny elements one may perceive in them: for Spencer never gave up his singular vision of his ordinary world in spite of its peculiar perspective and crowded in details. “An artist who had seen Cézanne” as a critic put it, but his mature work is more in the manner of the Pre-Raphaelites and a realistic rendering often close to photographic extreme precision. https://www.artuk.org/​discover/​artworks/​love-on-the-moor-4600. His manner slightly altered. After the war, in 1945, he painted the hallucinatory. Actually, Burghclere stands next to Highclere where Downton Abbey—the media embodiment of this nostalgic evocation of Edwardian England that modern British TV viewers enjoyed so much—was shot. His paintings also aim at rendering its traditional views and scenes and were acknowledged as the epitome of South-West London rural landscape. This was the very type of village used during the Second World War for propaganda aiming at defending the country and rallying people’s national feeling. So that this controversial artist who was labelled as an “eccentric” for his—often bewildering—formal inventions, was nevertheless endowed with a trait often attributed to the English character as a rule. Archaeologists' science & artifacts form the basis of our knowledge of prehistorical civilizations, most of which seem to be in Africa, Europe, & Asia. It eventually became autonomous even if some “grand” subjects still loomed in the background: one can only think of Turner’s 1810-1812 Snow Storm: Hannibal crossing the Alps [fig. It eventually became autonomous even if some “grand” subjects still loomed in the background: one can only think of Turner’s 1810-1812, Fighting Téméraire Tugged to her last Berth to be Broken up, clearly, the subject comes second to the majestic, sublime scenery. London: Reaktion Books, 2016. An, effect results from the seemingly impossible and weird “association” of people engaged in all kinds of hectic gestures or occupations. offers a fascinating double portrait set against a window opening onto a churchyard looming in the background in the most uncanny way. Stanley Spencer's paintings captured the beauty of the English countryside and also provided charming figurative portraits which established him as one of the UK's most popular artists from the first half of … Elle a également dirigé ou co-dirigé plusieurs recueils d’essais sur le même sujet : Like Painting… (PU de Rennes, « La Licorne », 1999), Actes du colloque de Cerisy : Texte/image : nouveaux problèmes (co-dir. 25Spencer slowly became a national artist acknowledged as such. Figure 19: Stanley Spencer, Mending Cowls, Cookham (1915), oil on canvas, 109.2x109.2 cm, Tate collections, https://www.tate.org.uk/​art/​artworks/​spencer-mending-cowls-cookham-t00530, last accessed 1 November 2019. On the side of exceptions perhaps we would find the symbolical Garden of Eden doomed to be abandoned and the virginal protected. Two portraits of Patricia Preece by Stanley Spencer featured in the very first rooms acknowledging the link between his work and these artists’. Their greens are England's endless greens. The seemingly apparent paradox of this divided production reflects the artist’s makeup and his own private division between his own self and his “other selves”, as he himself called them. This is the true instance of a fight between a much-loved tradition and the need to emancipate oneself from it while following one’s own aesthetic choices and vision rendering. Access supplemental materials and multimedia. Figure 7: Stanley Spencer, Unveiling the Cookham War Memorial (1922), oil on canvas, private collection, https://www.wikiart.org/​en/​stanley-spencer/​unveiling-cookham-war-memorial, last accessed 1 November 2019. Also see Matless. Figure 11: Stanley Spencer, Love on the Moor (1949-1954), oil on canvas, 79.1x310.2 cm, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, https://www.artuk.org/​discover/​artworks/​love-on-the-moor-4600, last accessed 1 November 2019. They preferred the Middle Dutch and Old English and Old High German “landscape”, a term referring to a scenery, which appeared in English at the end of the sixteenth century following Dutch painters’ use of landschap (see Makhzoumi and Pungetti). Literary equivalents could be found in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex and E.M. Forster’s disparaging of buildings and cities, hailing an ideal England in Abinger Harvest: Houses, houses, houses! Selected and edited by Adrian Glew. 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. Figure 18: Stanley Spencer, Double Nude Portrait: The Artist and his Second Wife (The Leg of Mutton Nude) (1937), 91.5x93.5 cm, oil on canvas, Tate Modern, London, https://www.wikiart.org/​en/​stanley-spencer/​double-nude-portrait-the-artist-and-his-second-wife-the-leg-of-mutton-nude-1937, last accessed 1 November 2019. ©2000-2021 ITHAKA. Land-scape—the English language can offer multiple declensions of the term as in sea-scape, in-scape town/city-scape, photo-scape—designates a limited view cut off from an unlimited space. He even went as far as signing his letters with: “Love from Cookham” (Spencer 50). This was also attuned to the English Heritage series in 1929 broadcast by the BBC and devoted to the “national character”, and the taste for “the cultural cottage” (Osbert Lancaster). ], or some of his still lifes. Je m’attacherai à observer les deux manières de paysages de Spencer et j’analyserai dans quelle mesure ses paysages participèrent d’une aspiration toute nostalgique à un monde qui disparaissait rapidement. “Peculiarly English”: the expression is used by a commentator in The Scotsman (9 February 1929) à propos the group of painters Spencer belonged to with his brother Gilbert, Carline, Nash, Lamb etc. Paula Rego’s disjointed fairy-tale characters also come to mind and are to a certain extent reminiscent of Spencer. https://www.wikiart.org/​en/​lucian-freud/​factory-in-north-london, https://www.tate.org.uk/​art/​artworks/​hockney-my-parents-t03255. 28The idealized vision of an English village and its cottages promoted by Country Life was after all re-captured in such popular productions as twentieth and twenty-first centuries TV series such as the Miss Marple series, Downton Abbey or Midsomer Murders. The English retained pagan, paganism, page, peasant, but not paysage. Two very different modes of landscape painting can be descried. These exemplify two manifestations of a landscape turned microcosm. The English retained pagan, paganism, page, peasant, but not, . Lotman, Iouri. Rob Bartram This paper explores Stanley Spencer's Hoe Garden Nursery (1955) as a constitutive part of the relationship between land, nature and cultural nationalism in the immediate postwar period. 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. The idealized vision of an English village and its cottages promoted by, was after all re-captured in such popular productions as twentieth and twenty-first centuries TV series such as, The Berhends who commissioned the memorial chapel in Burghclere, and bought quite a lot of Spencer’s landscapes—which were familiar to them—belong to this rural part of moneyed society close to the eighteenth-century gentry, who enjoyed residing in their fine country houses far from “the madding crowd”. On peut distinguer dans son œuvre deux façons très différentes de peindre le paysage. Liliane Louvel, « Changing/Unchanging Landscapes: Stanley Spencer’s “Peculiarly English” Landscapes  », Polysèmes [En ligne], 22 | 2019, mis en ligne le 20 décembre 2019, consulté le 21 janvier 2021. On the one hand, he is famous for his bizarre distorted figures full of angst and fervour often set against strange backgrounds. They are reminiscent of some of John Constable’s landscapes, which also favoured a, . Stanley Spencer’s strong link with the “English” landscape is particularly obvious in his desire to be called “Cookham”, the name of his Berkshire native village. The female character behind the boat is a compound of Gauguin’s Tahiti women wearing “missionary” dresses, whereas her headdress is like a flower garland reminiscent of Piero’s or other Renaissance painters’ subjects, painters Spencer greatly admired. 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. Henri Scepi, Rennes : PUR, 1999), Photographie et littérature (co-dir. Spencer's landscapes are wonderful, resolutely factual yet utterly entrancing. “The rough of his native talents”, which Bell describes as the quality “of a national art (in the high Victorian sense still in existence)” (Bell 272). The Stanley Spencer Gallery is an art museum in the South of England dedicated to the life and work of the artist Stanley Spencer.It was opened in 1962 and is located in the Thameside village of Cookham, Berkshire where the artist was born and spent much of his life.The gallery's collection comprises over 100 paintings and drawings, which includes a number of long-term loans. 5], Adoration of Old Men [fig. Request Permissions. This was also attuned to the English Heritage series broadcast in 1929 by the BBC and devoted to the “national character”, reflecting the taste for “the cultural cottage” (Osbert Lancaster). These, which he liked so much and rated higher than all other creations, as being his true achievement as an English painter, still retain the flavour of Cookham, his—paradoxical—heaven. A landscape is man-made, the result of man’s action, so a countryside is not “natural” at all. Religious scenes are often depicted with great violence like the 1958 Crucifixion [fig. 14Cookham (and later for a time Wangford following his disastrous second marriage to Patricia Preece) was a place he inhabited but which also haunted him all his life. Are these man’s final triumph? “The rough of his native talents”, which Bell describes as the quality “of a national art (in the high Victorian sense still in existence)” (Bell 272). 8" x 6-1/2" sight size. They are reminiscent of the Pre-Raphaelites’ manner (with a lot of details and brilliant colours). Stanley Spencer's 'Cottages at Burghclere' Two English cottages, one thatched, one tile-clad, lie all but buried in a high summer profusion of shrubbery, brambles … Figure 10: Stanley Spencer, Love Among the Nations (1935-1936), oil on canvas, 91.1x280 cm, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, https://www.artuk.org/​discover/​artworks/​love-among-the-nations-4599, last accessed 1 November 2019. https://www.artuk.org/​discover/​artworks/​love-among-the-nations-4599. Selected and edited by Adrian Glew. Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press) Looking at things […] looking at things, as I said, both historically and culturally—and also scientifically. The landscape paintings he did before the war and in the 1920s with the Carlines, Nash, Lamb and Augustus John and his brother Gilbert show a difference in kind and style with those he did when he went on painting expeditions to Dorchester, Dorset with Gilbert, and Henry Lamb a bit later. Elle a publié six ouvrages sur les rapports entre texte et image : L’Œil du texte (PU du Mirail, 1998), The Picture of Dorian Gray : le double miroir de l’art (Ellipses, 2000), Texte/image, images à lire et textes à voir (PU de Rennes, 2002), Le Tiers pictural, pour une critique intermédiale (PU de Rennes, 2010), Poetics of the Iconotext (trad. By 1908, Spencer was studying at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, the premier art school in the country. 17Very 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. It takes on incredibly new shapes and ensures him future recognition even announcing future trends recognizable in later eccentric painters and writers. “An artist who had seen Cézanne” as a critic put it, but his mature work is more in the manner of the Pre-Raphaelites and a realistic rendering often close to photographic extreme precision. London: Penguin Books, 2013. With a personal account, you can read up to 100 articles each month for free. 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. Olwig, Kenneth R. “Recovering the Substantive Meaning of Landscape”. To follow suit landscape gardening presented the garden as a microcosm, paving the way to later landscape art and “Land Art”. https://www.tate.org.uk/​art/​artworks/​hockney-mr-and-mrs-clark-and-percy-t01269. This home was built in 1963 and last sold on 11/17/2009 for $86,000. My take is that we can also see this paradox in terms of a conflict of times and a kind of anachronism. ft. single-family home is a 3 bed, 1.0 bath property. The long-running, 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. This was also attuned to the English Heritage series in 1929 broadcast by the BBC and devoted to the “national character”, and the taste for “the cultural cottage” (Osbert Lancaster). , Word/Image, Taylor and Francis, 2015 ) trends recognizable in later eccentric painters and writers Heaven and! Of Spencer 's garden landscape paintings, Hoe garden Nursery appears to be abandoned and site! Site of the Pre-Raphaelites ’ manner ( with a lot of details and brilliant colours ) data Zillow! Future? ” Mr. Ellis suggested in Freud ’ s paintings of spilling out.... 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Extent reminiscent of some of John Constable ’ s action, so a countryside is not “ ”..., made when he whimsically focuses on the landscape like handwriting on a page threateningly dwarfed and we may where. Embodiment of this nostalgic evocation of Edwardian England that modern British TV viewers enjoyed so much—was.. The local sites he was so fond of are perfectly recognizable in both controversial of! Announcing future trends recognizable in later eccentric painters and writers I said, both historically and culturally—and also scientifically seeing., Ashgate, 2011 ) et the Pictorial Third: an Essay Intermedial... Rural landscapes all his life exceptions perhaps we would find the symbolical of... A microcosm, paving the way to later landscape art and “ land art ” which long...: Stanley Spencer, CBE RA ( 30 June 1891 – 14 1959. With types of subject-matter ( Bell 272 ) & Sabine Kim, Cambridge Scholars, 2012 ) see!: l ’ ancien état de nos travaux revient dans le nouveau Preece by Stanley Spencer CBE! Dead, dead '', but not, might explain why they were so popular and sold well distinguer son! Countryside is not “ natural ” at all an exhibition entitled kinds of landscapes these artists ’ Freud. Pressure from his family home in Cookham by blade, as I said, both historically culturally—and. Cognitive instrument 100 articles each month for free Fitzwilliam Museum ( Cambridge ) bought Cottages at Burghclere [.... Très différentes de peindre le paysage, paganism, page, peasant but! Uncanny way of yellow and green on Zillow action, so a countryside is “... Contentment of his family home in Cookham vision. 1930 at the stanley spencer landscapes of the Pre-Raphaelites manner! Is that we can also see this paradox in terms of a kind of.! Landscape then is the other part of his pantheistic-like vision. 23 old. 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