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Gilbert Spencer (1892 - 1979)

Darling, what have you done with my battledress?, 1941

SKU: 9226
Signed and inscribed : Darling, what have you done with my battledress?
Pencil, pen, ink and watercolour on paper
21 1/2 x 29 1/2 in. (55 x 75 cm.)

Size:
Height – 55cm
Width – 75cm

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
The Artist’s collection until 1979; thence by descent.
Presentation:
framed
Exhibited : Bristol exhibition 1950 

From 1941 Spencer worked with the Royal College of Art at Ambleside in the Lake District.  Too old to serve in the army Spencer was active in the Home Guard as a subsection leader.  His witty observations of life in the Home Guard were captured in a series of fourteen large watercolours, which were intended for publication.  The publication however had to be abandoned after the watercolours were intercepted by the Royal Mail,  on their way  to the printers, and ripped along one side (subsequently repaired by Spencer) as an act of censorship.
Distinguished as having been an Official War Artist in both WW1 and WW2 Spencer was commissioned by the Artists Advisory Committee on four occasions as an Official War Artist in 1940, 1942, 1943, 1944.  

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1050000847
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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.

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A Sudden Return Home, 1946
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The Balcony, 6 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, 1928
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Tennis – viewed from a gap in the trees, circa 1966
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God Creating the World, 1934
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Cookham Barns, 1925
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Ploughed Land, Garsington, circa 1923
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Trees at Garsington, mid 1920’s
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Portrait of Joyce Peters, 1920’s
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Man at a Sluice Gate on the Thames
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Aberdovey, 1953
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Portrait of a Glaswegian lady
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Two calves, 1930
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Portrait of a Soldier, circa 1940
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The Artist’s Daughter, Gillian
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Gehazi and Naaman, mid 1930’s
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Summer Study, 1914
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The Goal, c. 1930
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Trench Digging
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Escaped Prisoner
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The Enemy, circa 1942
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I wish I wasn’t Home-Guarding Tonight
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Left…rapid…fire!
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The Parade Ground
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Home Guard Duties
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The Bore: In ’15’
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It’s orders
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Portrait of Doreen Harter, mid 1920’s
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Darling, what have you done with my battledress?, 1941
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Shoeing ‘Orses
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Protective Covering
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Apples in a Basket circa 1913
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Study for Hebridean Memory, 1951