Spencer, Gilbert

(1892 – 1979)

Two calves, 1930

Watercolour and pencil

Signed

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
The Artist’s family

Gilbert Spencer was a British painter, muralist, illustrator, teacher and writer, whose career spanned more than six-decades. He was appreciated during his own lifetime as one of the leading artists of his generation, and counted among his patrons some of the most influential art collectors of his day, including Lady Ottoline Morrell, Sir Joseph Duveen,Vita Sackville-West and Henry Lamb. 

His reputation, however, has since suffered from neglect, largely as a result of being overshadowed by his more famous brother, Stanley Spencer.Through their communal up bringing and Slade School training, the work of the two brothers is clearly united by a common thread ‚Äì manifest in their devotion to accurate observation, intense sincerity and impeccable technique. Less interested than Stanley in the drama of human passion, however, the novelty of Gilbert’s work lies in his fascination with landscape, and in the incidents of everyday life in rural England. 

Spencer’s work played an important role in the revival of the British landscape tradition, and many of his bucolic scenes feature farmyard animals such as calves, cattle, sheep, shire horses, and the like. This can be seen in Spencer’s ‘Landscape with Cows’ (1927) in the collection of Kirklees Museums and Galleries. 

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THE ARTIST

Spencer, Gilbert

1892 – 1979

Painter, especially of landscapes, draughtsman, teacher and writer, and brother of the painter Stanley Spencer. Born at Cookham, Berkshire. Spencer studied at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, woodcarving at the Royal College of Art, 1911-12, then with Fred Brown and Henry Tonks at the Slade School of Fine Art, 1913-20. Between 1915 and 1919 he served in the army. Spencer had his first one-man show at the Goupil Gallery in 1923; he also exhibited at the RA (he was elected RA in 1960), NEAC, (of which he was a member), Leicester Galleries, RSA, Redfern Gallery and many other venues. Although he produced notable wall paintings for Holywell Manor, Oxford, 1934-6, Spencer made his name as a landscape artist working mainly in the English southern counties. At various times he taught at the Royal College of Art, Glasgow School of Art and Camberwell, serving meanwhile as an Official War Artist, 1940-3. His book Stanley Spencer appeared in 1961 and his autobiography, Memoirs of a Painter, in 1974. A retrospective exhibition was held at Reading in 1964. The Tate and many other public collections hold his work. He sometimes just signed his work GS. He lived in Hampstead and towards the end of his life near Reading, Berkshire.

MORE PICTURES BY ARTIST

Gilbert Spencer
Tennis – viewed from a gap in the trees, circa 1966
£2,750.00