A striking composition, Somerset Landscape, reveals Spencer Frederick Gore’s strong affinity for colour and bold design. In this painting, our eye is drawn to follow the passage of cows as they amble across the scene from the bottom left hand side. Gore creates a dramatic contrast between the reddish brown cows and the subtle variations of green in the surrounding foliage and vegetation. He spent three or four months each year between 1909 and 1911 painting in the English countryside. During this period, he stayed in a large farm in Applehayes, Somerset, owned by Harold Harrison with whom he had studied at the Slade School of Art in London. Several landscapes of Somerset exist from this period; he produced a further eight paintings during a later visit to Somerset in 1913.
Spencer Frederick Gore was inspired by Gauguin and Cezanne, having seen their work at the first Post-Impressionist exhibition organised by Roger Fry in 1910 at the Grafton Gallery in London. Gore was born in Epsom, Surrey and studied at the Slade School of Art from 1896-99 where he became friends with Harold Gilman (1876-1919). Like Gilman, Gore was a founder member of two artists’ groups formed in London at the instigation of Sickert: the Fitzroy Group created in 1907 and its successor the Camden Town Group, of which Gore was the first president in 1911. In 1914 he took part in the first London Group exhibition and also caught pneumonia while out painting in a rainstorm in Richmond Park, and died shortly after.
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