An image of Christ in Cookham

Sir Stanley Spencer

(England 30 Jun 1891 – 14 Dec 1959)

Christ in Cookham

Other titles:
Christ Calling the Apostles
Not on display
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.

oil on canvas
127.0 x 205.7 cm stretcher; 141.5 x 220.8 x 7.5 cm frame
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Watson Bequest Fund 1952
Accession number
© Sir Stanley Spencer/DACS. Licensed by Copyright Agency
Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from Arthur Tooth & Sons 1952