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2002 articles 1977 articles

Two Stanley Spencer letters from Salonika

D. P. Waley


THE most memorable experience which twentieth-century British painting can provide is a visit to Stanley Spencer's masterpiece, the Sandham Memorial Chapel at Burghclere, Hampshire. An inscription in the chapel explains that the paintings 'are the fulfilment of a design which he conceived whilst on active service' and these scenes of Spencer's wartime life, painted a decade after the end of the First World War, could well be used to illustrate the phrase 'emotion recollected in tranquillity'. This is particularly true of the Salonika panels portraying life in camp and the trenches, of 'Map reading' and the extraordinary painting on the end wall, 'Resurrection of the Soldiers'.

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