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| Words: 358 | Submitted: 10-May-2011
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DescriptionStanley Spencer annotation
Stanley Spencer was a British painter born in a small Thames-side village named Cookham in Berkshire on 30th June 1891 and died on the 14th December 1959 due to cancer. His ability and interest in art at an early age were fostered by lessons from a local artist and then later by a year at the Maidenhead technical institute. In 1908 he went to study at the Slade School of art and was taught under Henry Tonks and many others. He was awarded a scholarship in 1910 which was followed by Melville Nettleship and composition prizes in 1912.
Stanley Spencer has been described as an early modernist painter. Most of his greatest, most famous works show or represent Biblical scenes from miracles to Crucifixions in which he expresses his Christian faith. His works originally created controversy and shocked people although they are now scene as Avant-garde. His early work is regarded as a combination of French post-Impressionism and early Italian painting by artists such as Giotto Di Bondone. Spencer was a key member in a group consisting of David Bomberg, William Roberts and other young contemporaries at Slade. They called themselves the ĎNeo-Primitivesí.
Altogether Stanley Spencer created hundreds of drawings and painted over 450 pictures. Most of these were set in and around his hometown Cookham.
In 1959 Stanley Spencer created his final self-portrait which was also one of his last ever paintings. It was painted whilst staying with friends in Yorkshire five months before his death. At this point he was seriously ill, although managed to finish it in five days.
Stanley Spencerís self portrait from 1914 was his first using oil. This portrait was painted in the front bedroom of his family home.
Here I have likened my work to Stanley Spencerís in that both subjects are looking directly at the spectator with a very intense gaze. He uses a strong suggestion of light and dark. Particularly so in his early self-portrait from 1914, where he uses chiaroscuro to create form and mystery. Although mine is not a self-portrait, it still invites questions from the viewer. In both Stanley Spencerís painting and my drawing there is a feeling of melancholy.
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