An image of Christ in Cookham

Stanley Spencer

(England 30 Jun 1891 – 14 Dec 1959)

Christ in Cookham

Other titles:
Christ Calling the Apostles
Location
Modern gallery
Further information

Stanley Spencer's [religiosity] was marked by an almost mystical fervour. His understanding of Christianity had a pantheistic overlay that allowed for the incorporation of his own wilful and eccentric imaginings. Eroticism was an area of human experience to which Spencer's art gave uninhibited expression, though this incident-filled composition is comparatively chaste. A Christ of Romanesque solidity presides over workers, village worthies, children and most of the local football team. The setting is a cottage garden in Cookham, Spencer's rural birthplace which he habitually portrayed as an earthly paradise. Part of a series of canvases executed for the Church Home, 'Christ in Cookham' recalls the fastidious images of the Pre-Raphaelites. In this collection it can be usefully compared with Ford Madox Brown's 'Chaucer at the court of Edward III', painted a century earlier. [Spencer] saw in the structures of English society the worldly articulation of a godly plan.

AGNSW Handbook, 1999.

This work is from the series 'Pentecost Last Judgement' intended for the Church-House.

Year
1951-1952
Media
Painting
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
127.0 x 205.7 cm stretcher; 141.0 x 220.0 x 7.5 cm frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Watson Bequest Fund 1952
Accession number
8702
Copyright
© Sir Stanley Spencer/DACS. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Provenance
Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from Arthur Tooth & Sons 1952