Phil Jarman looks at the life of one of Britain’s greatest artists.

ART OF WAR Sir Stanley Spencer

A detail from a larger mural showing welders at work in Lithgows shipyard, the distortion of perspective and compartmentalisation of the painting into subsections is typical of Stanley Spencer. 1941 composition.

Inspired throughout his life by his religious beliefs and the village of Cookham in Berkshire where he grew up and spent much of his creative career, Stanley Spencer is regarded as one of the most original figures in Twentieth Century British art.

Growing up in a family where art, literature, music and religion played a major part, Spencer absorbed these key ingredients and incorporated them in his paintings throughout his life.

His early years were influenced and shaped by his immediate family, as he was educated at home, receiving lessons from his sisters. The effect of this sheltered and lonely childhood was that the budding artist became a solitary figure, spending his time walking and drawing in the countryside around his home village.

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