Gilbert Spencer (1892 - 1979)

Oil on canvas


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© Courtesy of the artist's estate/Bridgeman Art Library

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  • About the work
    Country: Greece
    City: Athens
    Place: British Embassy
  • About the artist
    Born in Cookham-on-Thames in 1892, Gilbert Spencer was the youngest of twelve children. He first attended the Ruskin School, Oxford, and then studied woodcarving at Camberwell School of Art, London, from 1910–11. In 1913 he attended the Slade School of Art, London, where he was awarded a life drawing prize in 1914. During the First World War he served in the Army in postings in Salonika and Egypt from 1915–18. After the War Spencer’s painting was increasingly well received and he had a second exhibition at the Goupil Gallery (1932). From 1934–36 he painted a series of murals for Balliol College, Oxford, and later served as an Official War Artist (1940–43). He became Professor of Painting at the Royal College of Art (1933–48); Head of Painting at Glasgow School of Art (1948–50); and Head of Painting at Camberwell School of Art (1950–57). He is remembered for his paintings of English rural life, and especially for his depiction of farm crafts and activities, for instance, A Cotswold Farm (1930–31) and The Progress of Husbandry (circa 1964), paintings that were both acquired by the Tate Collection.
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    Materials & Techniques
    canvas, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Oil on canvas
    height: 46.50 cm, width: 67.00 cm
    Purchased from Leicester Galleries, May 1967
    br: G.SPENCER
    Collection of politician Sir John Vaughan-Morgan (1905-1995; later Baron Reigate); by whom sold through Christie’s, London, 'Modern British Drawings, Paintings and Sculpture' sale, on 13 May 1966 (Lot 135); from which sale purchased by Leicester Galleries, London; from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in July 1967
    GAC number