Height: 14 inches Width 10 inches Framed: Height 21 ½ inches Width 16 inches
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An original portrait drawing by Sir Stanley Spencer of Daphne Spencer, his niece (and reputedly his lover), finely drawn with the sitter looking slightly to the right, pencil on cartridge paper, glazed and framed. Together with the Exhibition catalogue. English, circa 1950.
Exhibited: Sir Stanley Spencer Selling Exhibition, Cookham Arts Festival, May 1967. No. 6006.
Provenance: Sir Stanley Spencer Memorial Gallery, Cookham
Donald Radermacher (MD of Peter Jones Department Store, Sloane Square, London)
Bequeathed to his nephew, Rae Amis Duxbury and thence by descent
Footnote: The sitter has been identified as Daphne Spencer, daughter of Stanley’s brother, Harold. Stanley almost certainly had a liaison with Daphne, which naturally caused a bit of a stir in Cookham where he lived for a time. Donald Radermacher also lived in Cookham and knew Sir Stanley. We have good reason to believe that he purchased this drawing at the above exhibition.
Sir Stanley Spencer, CBE RA (30 June 1891 – 14 December 1959) was an English painter who studied as the Slade School of Art in London. His most famous works include large scale paintings for the Sandham Memorial Chapel and the Shipbuilding on the Clyde series. Although a fervent Christian, with many religious commissions, Spencer provoked great shock and controversy and, in 1950, was charged with obscenity over nude depictions of both his wives, Hilda Carline and Patricia Preece. Alongside his complicated domestic life, he conducted numerous affairs, including, apparently, with Daphne. He painted portraits of her when he visited his elder brother Harold in Northern Ireland in 1951, 1952 and 1953.
The Amis family were model makers and had a work shop/gallery in Piccadilly. Richard Amis bequeathed his fine art collection to Eton College. Subject of a recent exhibition – ‘An Etonian Collector The Richard Amis Bequest’ – it featured the work of significant artists including J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851), J.R. Cozens (1752–1797), David Cox Snr (1783–1859) and Peter de Wint (1784–1849). Amis gave the works with the intention that they would be ‘kept together and well looked after, and perhaps spark an interest in some… as my [Eton] tutor and his watercolours did for me.’
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An original portrait drawing by Sir Stanley Spencer of Daphne Spencer, his niece (and reputedly his lover)