Gilbert Spencer
(1892 - 1979)

Preliminary Study for New Arrivals, Sinai, 1917

£950.00

SKU: 10575

Pencil on paper 

6 3⁄4 x 4 1⁄2 in. (17 x 11.5 cm)

Size:
Height – 17cm
Width – 11.5cm

1 in stock

DESCRIPTION

Gilbert Spencer was a highly decorated student, though the promising start to his art career at the Slade was soon interrupted by The First World War. Spencer enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps (R.A.M.C.) stationed at Beaufort War Hospital, Bristol and then volunteered for active service, where he was sent to Salonika, the Balkans, the Mediterranean and Egypt, latterly becoming an Official War Artist. This work is a believed to be a preliminary study for Spencer’s New Arrivals: F4 Ward, No. 36 Stationary Hospital, Mahemdia, Sinai. 

The painting shows the interior of a ward in the 36th Stationary Hospital in Egypt, where convalescing troops, wearing their blue hospital uniforms, sit on a row of beds in the ward. A nurse stands by a shelving unit in the left foreground with a medical orderly to the right. The finished painting was to feature in a Hall of Remembrance devoted to ‘fighting subjects, home subjects and the war at sea and in the air’ at the National Gallery, It is now part of the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

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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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