Painting of the Month – January

2020, a new decade, maybe an allegory of perfect vision. I thought I might start the new decade with a peer back a hundred years to 1920 and celebrate that great but complicated British artist, Sir Stanley Spencer.

Tate, cookham, January, rowing,
Stanley Spencer, The Bridge, 1920, Tate

My Painting of the month is The Bridge from that year. Spencer brings the excitement of the crowded atmosphere, probably a regatta. The bridge is stone but the carved quarterfoils echo the cast iron bridge at Cookham, home of the Spencer Gallery. The dog in the foreground, an Airedale’s terrier, Tinker, was a real resident of the village. Look at the military uniformity of the men’s clothing, so close to the end of the Great War. Compare with the great variety you may see now at a sporting event. What are they all looking at? The river maybe? Knowing the location maybe there is something going on at “The Ferry”?


Image © Tate

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