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13 March 2019Sir Stanley Spencer - an Autobiography in Pictures
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Sir Stanley Spencer - an Autobiography in Pictures Carolyn Leder Wednesday 13 March 2019

One of Britain’s greatest painters, he was a visionary artist whose name became synonymous with Cookham, the picturesque Thameside village he immortalised, which for him was the scene of heavenly visitations.  Cookham shaped his work throughout his career, as the setting for subject pictures as well as beautiful realistic landscapes.  Thus on the river by Cookham Bridge, the artist showed Christ preaching to the crowds at the Cookham Regatta he recalled from his boyhood.  In a series of masterpieces, he also created some of the most original response to the two great conflicts of the 20thC. Aside from his work as an Official War Artist, his mural decorations at the Sandham Memorial Chapel, Burghclere, commemorating the First World War, are one of the great achievements of 20thC painting.  His turbulent private life can be traced through his figure paintings.

For many years, Carolyn Leder was Curator of the Old Speech Room Gallery, Harrow School. As an art historian she has written widely on Stanley Spencer, including a book on his autobiographical “Scrapbook” drawings.   Adviser to the Stanley Spencer Gallery and a former trustee, she has featured as a talking head on TV and radio, as well as curating and cataloguing many exhibitions of his work.  She is the consultant on three volumes of the artist’s writing, edited by his grandson, and is regularly consulted on Spencer by Sotheby’s and Christie’s.