|Sir Stanley Spencer|
Self-portrait, 1959, final year of his life
|Birth name||Stanley Spencer|
30 June 1891|
|Died||14 December 1959
Cliveden, Buckinghamshire, England
|Training||Maidenhead Technical Institute; The Slade|
|Works||The Resurrection, Cookham; Christ Preaching At Cookham Regatta: Conversation Between Punts|
|Patrons||Louis and Mary Behrend|
|Awards||RA 1950; CBE 1950; Knighted 1959|
Sir Stanley Spencer KCB CBE RA (30 June 1891 – 14 December 1959)  was an English painter. Shortly after leaving the Slade School of Art, Spencer became well known for his paintings depicting Biblical scenes occurring as if in Cookham, the small Thames-side village where he was born and spent much of his life. Spencer referred to Cookham as "a village in Heaven" and in his biblical scenes, fellow-villagers are shown as their Gospel counterparts. Spencer was skilled at organising multi-figure compositions such as in his large paintings for the Sandham Memorial Chapel and the Shipbuilding on the Clyde series, the former being a World War One memorial whilst the latter was a commission for the War Artists' Advisory Committee during World War Two. As his career progressed Spencer often produced landscapes for commercial necessity and the intensity of his early visionary years diminished somewhat while elements of eccentricity came more to the fore. Although his compositions became more claustrophobic and his use of colour less vivid he maintained an attention to detail in his paintings akin to that of the Pre-Raphaelites.
- 1 Art
- 2 Biography
- 3 Memorial
- 4 Archive
- 5 Summary Chronology
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
Spencer has been described as an early modernist painter. His works often express his fervent if unconventional Christian faith. This is especially evident in the scenes that he envisioned and depicted in Cookham. Very evident in these too is the compassion that he felt for his fellow residents. His quirky romantic and sexual obsessions were also expressed within this home environment, but it is a mistake to regard him merely as some sort of quaint village innocent, inextricably tied to small-town England. His works originally provoked great shock and controversy. Nowadays, they still seem stylistic and experimental, whilst the nudes that arose through the futile relationship with Patricia Preece, such as the Leg of mutton nude, foreshadow some of the much later works of Lucian Freud, who expressed admiration for Spencer.
Spencer's early work is regarded as a synthesis of French Post-Impressionism, exemplified for instance by Paul Gauguin, plus early Italian painting typified by Giotto. This was a conscious choice, and Spencer was a key member of a group who called themselves the "Neo-Primitives." Allied with him were David Bomberg, William Roberts and other young contemporaries at the Slade.
His most ambitious work was the consequence of his Great War experiences: a cycle of 19 wall paintings for the Sandham Memorial Chapel, which took five years to complete. During the Second World War, he was recruited by the War Artists' Advisory Committee to help in the war effort by recording activities that were taking place on the home front. Spencer chose to paint Clyde shipbuilders at work; when the war ended, he was in the process of planning a three-tier frieze 70 feet long representing their work.
Today, works such as The Resurrection, Cookham (1923–27), clearly set in the village and with actual residents taking part, rarely come up for auction, but when they do, they sell for immense sums. However, during Spencer's lifetime, it was his landscapes that were in demand. His dealer would press him to produce more, but Spencer expressed impatience, and professed that they were a chore. Nevertheless these landscapes of Cookham and its environs are still favored by many of the public.
Spencer was born and spent much of his life in Cookham in Berkshire. His father, William Spencer, was a music teacher. His mother, locally-born Anna Caroline Slack, was universally known as Annie. His younger brother, Gilbert Spencer (1892–1979), also became a notable artist, principally for his landscapes. Stanley Spencer was the eighth surviving child of Annie and William Spencer. Grandfather Julius Spencer was a master builder who built at least two of Spencers' homes - the family home "Fernlea" on Cookham High Street, and the home Spencer shared for a while with his sister Annie at Cliveden View, on the High Road in Cookham Rise. Spencer's childhood was full of music, literature and conversation. His father read out loud with the family and encouraged lively debate and argument at the dinner table. A small school was set up in the garden at 'The Nest,' next door to Fernlea, which was run by his sisters Annie and Florence. Their reading often included Bible stories. They also made music and took nature walks through the local countryside. The influences of the Bible, nature and Cookham are clearly strong threads through much of his lifetime’s work.
Stanley was small and wiry and had a very energetic personality. He would talk for hours with his mind flying free. He would write his thoughts on every aspect of his work and left behind a vast archive of letters, notes and jottings. After his informal schooling he was sponsored by Lady Boston of Hedsor to attend the Maidenhead Technical Institute, where his father insisted he should not take any exams.
From 1908 to 1912, Spencer studied at the Slade School of Art at University College, London under Henry Tonks and others. His contemporaries at the Slade included Dora Carrington, Maxwell Gordon Lightfoot, Mark Gertler, Paul Nash, Edward Wadsworth, Isaac Rosenberg and David Bomberg. So profound was his attachment to the village of his birth that most days he would take the train back home in time for tea. It even became his nickname: his fellow student C.R.W. Nevinson dubbed him Cookham, a name which Spencer himself took to using for a time.
In 1912 Spencer exhibited the painting John Donne Arriving in Heaven and some drawings at the Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition organised by Roger Fry in London. The same year he painted The Nativity for which he won a Slade Composition Prize and he also began painting Apple Gathers which was shown in the first Contemporary Art Society exhibition the following year. In 1914 Spencer completed Zacharias and Elizabeth and The Centurion's Servant and began work on a self-portrait. Self-portrait (1914) was painted in Wisteria Cottage, a decaying Georgian house Spencer rented as a studio from the local coalman in Cookham. Painted with a mirror, the painting is bold and austere with a direct and penetrating gaze, softened by the deep shadow on the right hand side - the head fills the picture space and is painted one and a half times life size. Apple Gathers had being bought by the artist Henry Lamb who promptly sold it to the art collector Edward Marsh. Marsh later bought Self-portrait and considered it to be "masterly...glowing with genius."
World War I & after
After a long period of agonizing whether or not to join up, in 1915 Spencer volunteered to serve with the Royal Army Medical Corps and worked as an orderly at the Beaufort Hospital, Bristol. In 1916, the 24-year-old Spencer volunteered for service with the RAMC in Macedonia, and served with the 68th Field Ambulance unit. He subsequently volunteered to be transferred to the Berkshire Regiment. His survival of the devastation and torment that killed so many of his fellows, including his elder brother Sydney, who was killed in action during September 1918, indelibly marked Spencer's attitude to life and death. Such preoccupations come through time and again in his religious works. Spencer returned to England at the end of 1918 and went back to his parents at Fernlea in Cookham where he completed Swan Upping, the painting he had left unfinished when he enlisted. Swan Upping was first exhibited at the New English Art Club in 1920 and was bought by J.L.Behrend. Spencer had began the painting by making a small oil study and several drawings from memory before visiting Turks Boatyard beside Cookham Bridge to confirm his composition. Spencer worked systematically from top to bottom on the canvas but had only completed the top two-thirds of the picture when he had to leave it in 1915. Returning to the work Spencer found it difficult to continue after his war-time experiences, often stating "It is not proper or sensible to expect to paint after such experience."
Travoys Arriving with Wounded...
In 1919 Spencer was commissioned by the War Memorials Committee of the Ministry of Information to paint a large work for a proposed, but never built, Hall of Remberance. The resulting painting, Travoys Arriving with Wounded at a Dressing Station at Smol, Macedonia, September 1916, now in the Imperial War Museum, was clearly the consequence of Spencer's experience in the medical corps. He wrote,
"About the middle of September 1916 the 22nd Division made an attack on Machine Gun Hill on the Doiran Vardar Sector and held it for a few nights. During these nights the wounded passed through the dressing stations in a never-ending stream."
The dressing station was an old Greek church which Spencer drew such that, with the animal and human onlookers surrounding it, it would recall depictions of the birth of Christ, but to Spencer the wounded figures on the stretchers spoke of Christ on the Cross while the lifesaving work of the surgeons represented the Resurrection. He wrote,
"I meant it not a scene of horror but a scene of redemption." And also, "One would have thought that the scene was a sordid one...but I felt there was grandeur...all those wounded men were calm and at peace with everything, so the pain seemed a small thing with them."
Spencer lived in Cookham until April 1920 when he moved to Bourne End to stay with the trade union lawyer Henry Slesser and his wife. Whilst there, he worked on a series of paintings for an 'oratory'. In 1921 Spencer worked on a mural designs for a village hall war memorial scheme which was never completed. In 1923 Spencer spent the summer in Poole, Dorset with Henry Lamb. Whilst there he worked on sketch designs for another possible war memorial scheme. These designs convinced two early patrons of Spencer's work, Louis and Mary Behrend, to commission a group of paintings as a memorial to Mary's brother, Lieutenant Henry Willoughby Sandham, who had died in the war. The Behrends planned to build a chapel in the village of Burghclere in Berkshire to house the paintings. In October 1923, Spencer started renting Henry Lamb's studio in Hampstead where he began work on The Resurrection, Cookham, which he would not complete until 1927 when Lord Duveen purchased the picture and presented it to the Tate. Also in 1927, Spencer held his first solo exhibition, at the Goupil Gallery, before moving to Burghclere to begin work on the Sandham Memorial Chapel for the Behrends.
In 1925, Spencer married Hilda Carline, then a student at the Slade and sister of the artist Richard Carline. A daughter, Shirin, was born in November of that year and a second daughter, Unity, in 1930. Spencer met the artist Patricia Preece in 1929 in Cookham and became infatuated with her. Hilda divorced Spencer in 1937. A week later he married Preece, who persuaded him to sign over his house to her; she, however, was a lesbian. She continued to live with her partner, Dorothy Hepworth, and though she frequently posed nude for her husband, she refused to consummate the marriage. When Spencer’s bizarre relationship with Preece finally fell apart (though she would never grant a divorce), he would visit Hilda, an arrangement that continued throughout the latter's subsequent mental breakdown. Hilda died from cancer in November 1950. The painful intricacies of this three-way relationship became the subject in 1996 of a play by the feminist playwright Pam Gems. Titled Stanley, it starred Anthony Sher at the National Theatre and later on Broadway. Nominated for a Tony Award, the play won the Olivier Best New Play award for 1997. Spencer had at least two significant affairs during his life, one with Daphne Charlton whilst at Leonard Stanley, and the other with Charlotte Murray, a Jungian analyst, when he was in Glasgow.
The Sandham Memorial Chapel in Burghclere was a colossal undertaking. Spencer's paintings cover a twenty-one foot high, seventeen-and-half foot wide end wall, eight seven foot high lunettes, each above a predella, with two twenty-eight feet long irregularly shaped strips between the lunettes and the ceiling. The Behrends were exceptionally generous patrons and not only paid for the Chapel to be built to Spencer's specifications but also paid the rent on his London studio while he completed The Resurrection, Cookham and built a house for him and Hilda to live in nearby while working at Burghclere, as Spencer would have to paint the uppermost sections of the walls and the end wall in situ. The chapel was designed to Spencer's specifications by the architect Lionel Pearson and was modelled on Giotto's Arena Chapel in Padua. This artistic freedom and financial support resulted in a spectacular work of art and an unusual and extremely moving war memorial. Spencer did not depict heroism and sacrifice but the unremarkable everyday facts of daily life in camp or hospital and a sense of human companionship rarely found in civilian life as he remembered events from Beaufort, Macedonia and Tweseldown Camp in Hampshire. The sixteen paintings are double hung on opposite walls akin to the progression of alterpieces in a Renaissance church nave. The series begins with a lunette depicting shell-shocked troops arriving at the gates of Beaufort, continues with a scene of kit inspection at the RAMC Training Depot in Hampshire which is followed by scenes of Macedonia. The scene, Map Reading offers a contrast to the dark earth of the hospital and military camps in the other panels and shows a company of soldiers resting by a roadside grove paying little attention to the only officier depicted among the hundreds of figures Spencer painted for the Chapel. The location in Map Reading is green and arcadian and seems to prefigure the paradise promised in the Resurrection of the Soldiers on the end, alter, wall. Spencer imagined the Resurrection of the Soldiers taking place outside the walled village of Kalinova in Macedonia with soldiers rising out of their graves and handing in identical white crosses to a Christ figure towards the top of the wall. Working on the Memorial Chapel has been descriped as six year process of remembrance and exorcism for Spencer and he explained the emphasis on the colossial resurrection scene, "I had buried so many people and saw so many bodies that I felt death could not be the end of everything."
Whilst working at Burghclere, Spencer also undertook other small commissions including a series of pen-and-ink sketches for a 1927 almanack and a 1929 series of five paintings for the Empire Marketing Board.
By 1932 Spencer was back in Cookham with his two daughters and Hilda living in a large house off the High Street. Here Spencer painted observational studies of his surroundings and other landscapes, which would become the major themes of his work over the following years. During 1932 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy and exhibited ten works at the Venice Biennale. In 1933 Patricia Preece first modelled for Spencer and when he visited Switzerland that summer, to paint landscapes, she joined him there. In 1935 the Royal Academy rejected two pictures, Saint Francis and the Birds and The Dustman or The Lovers, which Spencer had submitted for the Academy Summer Exhibition and Spencer resigned from the Academy in protest. When he returned to Switzerland in 1935, Patricia Preece travelled with him and when they returned to Cookham, Spencer's wife Hilda Carline moved to Hampstead. Preece began to manage Spencer's finances and he signed the deeds of his house over to her. Spencer painted naked portraits of Preece in 1935 and 1936 and, also in 1936, a double nude portrait of himself and Preece, Self-Portrait with Patricia Preece, now in the Fitzwilliam Museum. This was followed, in 1937, by Double Nude Portrait: The Artist and His Second Wife, known as the Leg of mutton nude, a painting never publicly exhibited during Spencer's lifetime. In a futile attempt to be reconciled with Hilda, Spencer went to stay with her in Hampstead for ten days. Her rejection of this approach is the basis of Hilda, Unity and Dolls, which Spencer painted during that visit. During the winter of 1937, alone in Southwold, Suffolk, he begin a series of paintings, The Beatitdes of Love, about ill-matched couples. In October 1938 Spencer moved to London spending six weeks with John Rothenstein before moving to a bedsit in Swiss Cottage where he started work on the Christ in the Wilderness series. By September 1939, he was staying at Leonard Stanley in Gloucestershire with the artists George and Daphne Charlton. Spencer created many important works in his room above the bar of the White Hart Inn which he used as a studio, including Us in Gloucestershire and The Wool Shop. Whilst in Gloucestershire, Spencer also began a series of over 100 pencil works, now known as the Scrapbook Drawings, which he continued for at least ten years.
Port Glasgow, 1939-1945
Since late in 1938, Spencer's agent, Dudley Tooth had been managing Spencer's finances and when the Second World War broke out he wrote to E.M.O'R. Dickey, the secretary of the War Artists' Advisory Committee, WAAC, seeking employment for Spencer. In May 1940 WAAC sent Spencer to the Lithgows Shipyard in Port Glasgow on the Clyde to depict the civilians at work there. Spencer became fascinated by what he saw and sent WAAC proposals for a scheme involving up to sixty-four canvases displayed on all four sides of a room. WAAC agreed to a more modest series of up to eleven canvases, some of which would be up to six metres long. The first two of these, Burners and Caulkers were completed by the end of August 1940. WAAC purchased the three parts of Burners, but not Caulkers, for £300 and requested a further painting, Welders, for balance. Spencer delivered Welders in March 1941 and in May 1941 saw the two paintings hanging together for the first time at the WAAC exhibition in the National Gallery. WAAC held Spencer in the highest regard, and in particular Dickey ensured he received, almost, all the expenses and materials he requested and even accepted his refusal to fill-in any forms or sign a contract.
Between trips to Glasgow, Spencer was renting a room in Epsom but the landlady there disliked him and he wanted to move back to Cookham and work on the paintings in his old studio but he could not afford to rent it from Preece, so WAAC agreed further financial help for that. In May 1942, Spencer delivered Template, followed by twelve portraits of Clydesiders in October 1942. By June 1943 Spencer was having problems with the composition of the next painting in the series, Bending the Keel plate and considered abandoning it. Although he was not entirely happy with the painting, WAAC purchased it in October 1943 for 150 guineas. About this time, the owner of the shipyard, James Lithgow, complained to WAAC about Spencer's portrayal of his shipyard. WAAC duly commissioned Henry Rushbury to go to Glasgow and produce some rather more conventional views of shipbuilding for Lithgow. Spencer made further visits to Glasgow and by June 1944 had completed Riggers and begun work on Plumbers. After WAAC had purchased these two paintings, they did not have enough funds to authorise the completion of the entire original scheme of paintings. By the time WAAC was wound up, money had been made available for one further picture, The Furnaces, which would become the central piece of the scheme. After the war, when the WAAC collection of artworks was dispersed to different museums, the complete Shipbuilding on the Clyde series was offered to the National Maritime Museum. However the National Maritime Museum refused to accept the pictures and they were given to the Imperial War Museum instead.
In November 2006, the Imperial War Museum asked Sir Alex Ferguson, whose father, brother and an uncle were working in the yards while the artist was there, to lead a campaign to fund restoration of Spencer's paintings of the Port Glasgow's shipyards. The Riverside Museum, Glasgow, now displays Spencer’s shipyard paintings as a biannual rotation of works on loan from the Imperial War Museum.
Resurrection pictures, 1945-1950
When the war ended he again took up, as did certain other British neo-romantic artists of the time, his visionary preoccupations — in Spencer's case with a sometimes apocalyptic tinge. Whilst the Resurrection had long been a recurring theme in Spencers work, in the years after the war it became especially so. Writing in his notebooks, Spencer attributed this to a revelation he had while in Glasgow working on the Shipbuilding on the Clyde series,
One evening in Port Glasgow when unable to write due to a jazz band playing in the drewing-room just below me, I walked up along the road past the gas works to where I saw a cemetery on a gently rising slope... I seemed then to see that it rose in the midst of a great plain and that all in the plain were resurrecting and moving towards it... I knew then that the resurrection would be directed from this hill. Later he wrote, I have read somewhere (might be Donne or Bunyan or Blake) that the resurrection is a kind of climbing of the Hill of Zion. I want to express this climbing idea... the hill will be illumined from the right, casting a long shadow across the plain far into the left side of the picture... Those resurrecting away in the plain on the left shadow-side of the hill must come round in front of the hill to join those coming from the right sunlit side, so there must be ground to walk on in front of the hill.
Spencer's original plan for realising this vision would have required a canvas some fifty feet wide. Appreciating that this was impractical, he instead embarked on a series of paintings of various sizes. The two largest of these, Resurrection:The Hill of Sion and Resurrection:Port Glasgow, at some twenty-two feet long each, matched the scale of his original vision. These were supplemented by a series of triptychs, Reunion, Rejoicing, Waking Up and The Raising of Jairus' Daughter plus two smaller pieces. A number of additional panals for some of the triptychs were planned but never completed. Spencer wanted the entire series displayed together, but each piece was sold to a different collector or gallery. Resurrection:Port Glasgow was exhibited with the Shipbuilding on the Clyde series for the first time in 2000 to great acclaim.
Whilst in Gloucestershire before World War Two, Spencer had embarked on a series of, eventually, over 100 pencil works, known as the Scrapbook Drawings. In 1950, the outgoing president of the Royal Academy, Sir Alfred Munnings came across some of these drawings and initiated a police prosecution against Spencer for obscenity. It was reported in the press that the, unnamed, owner of the pictures agreed to destroy them. Spencer also appears to have removed some drawings from his private scrapbooks and continued to ensure that the Leg of mutton nude would not be exhibited during his lifetime. He was awarded the CBE and rejoined the Royal Academy, as an Associate before being elected an Academician. Spencer visited his elder brother Harold in Northern Ireland in 1951, 1952 and 1953, painting portraits of Harold's daughter, Daphne, and urban scenes there, most notably Merville Garden Village near Belfast in 1951.
In 1954, the British Council sent a Cultural Delegation to China. The delegates included Stanley Spencer, Leonard Hawkes, Rex Warner, Hugh Casson and AJ Ayer. Spencer told Zhou Enlai that "I feel at home in China because I feel that Cookham is somewhere near, only just around the corner." Towards the end of 1955, a large retrospective of Spencer's work was held at the Tate and he began a series of large paintings centred on the work Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta.
The diminutive survivor of turmoil domestic and military was seen in his later years as a "small man with twinkling eyes and shaggy grey hair, often wearing his pyjamas under his suit if it was cold." He became a "familiar sight, wandering the lanes of Cookham pushing the old pram in which he carried his canvas and easel." The pram, black and battered, has survived to become the most curious exhibit in the Stanley Spencer Gallery in Cookham, which is dedicated to its owner's life and works.
In 1958 Spencer painted The Crucifixion which was set in Cookham High Street and first displayed in Cookham Church. The painting employed a similar composition and viewpoint to an earlier painting, The Scarecrow, Cookham (1934) but with the two gargoyle-like carpenters nailing Christ to the cross and a screaming crucified thief, was by far the most violent of all Spencer's paintings. Spencer was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Southampton University in 1958, three days before he received his knighthood at Buckingham Palace.
In December 1958 Spencer was diagnosed with cancer. He underwent an operation at the Canadian War Memorial Hospital on the Cliveden estate in 1959. After his operation, he went to stay with friends in Dewsbury. There, over five days from July 12 to July 16 he painted a final self-portrait. Self-Portrait (1959) shows a fierce, almost defiant individual. Lord Astor made arrangements so that Spencer could move into his childhood home, Fernlea, and he died of cancer at nearby Cliveden in December that year. At the time of his death Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta remained unfinished at his home.
While Spencer's house near Cookham Rise Primary school is still in private occupation, the village's Methodist Chapel where the artist worshipped is today the Stanley Spencer Gallery. It mounts two exhibitions a year and holds over 100 items of his work. Spencer was cremated and his ashes laid in Cookham Churchyard, beside the path through to Bellrope Meadow. A discreet stone memorial marks the spot. The commemorative wording is: - To the memory of Stanley Spencer Kt. CBE RA, 1891 – 1959 and his wife Hilda, buried in Cookham cemetery 1950. The Christian text is: - Everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God: He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love. (King James Bible, 1st Epistle General of John, Ch. 4: V. 7 second phrase, and 4:8).
In 1973 the Tate acquired a large proportion of the Spencer family archives. These included Stanley Spencer's notebooks, sketchbooks and correspondence including the weekly letters he wrote to his sister Florence, while he was stationed in Salonika during the First World War. Spencer was a prolific writer of lists and the archive contains several that offer insights to specific paintings plus other material such as lists of rooms for the Church-House project, lists of plants in his own paintings and even a list of the jewellery he bought for Patrica Preece.
- 1891 Born 30 June, in 'Fernlea', High Street, Cookham.
- 1907 Studied art at Maidenhead Technical Institute.
- 1908-12 Student at the Slade School of Art, University College of London.
- 1912 Exhibited in Roger Fry's 'Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition'.
- 1915-18 Enlisted RAMC, 1915. Stationed at Beaufort War Hospital, Bristol. Posted to Macedonia, 1916. Volunteered for infantry, 1917.
- 1919 Spencer first met Hilda Carline in Hampstead.
- 1920 Completed 'The Last Supper' Stanley Spencer Gallery.
- 1925 Married Hilda Carline on 23 February; first daughter Shirin was born in November.
- 1927 First one-man exhibition at the Goupil Gallery. Created a stir with 'The Resurrection, Cookham', 1924-6 Tate Britain.
- 1927-32 Mural decorations for Sandham Memorial Chapel, Burghclere National Trust.
- 1929 Met Patricia Preece in Cookham.
- 1930 Second daughter Unity born in May.
- 1932-38 Lived in Cookham. 1932 elected an Associate of the Royal Academy.
- 1935 Resigned from RA after rejection of two paintings by hanging committee.
- 1937 Divorced by Hilda.
- 1937 Married Patricia Preece on 29 May, but separated almost immediately.
- 1939-1941 Stayed and worked at The White Hart Inn, Leonard Stanley, Gloucestershire with George and Daphne Charlton.
- 1940 Commissioned to record the war effort by War Artists Advisory Committee: finished 'Shipbuilding on the Clyde' series in 1946.
- 1945-50 Port Glasgow Resurrection series.
- 1945-59 Lived at Cliveden View, Cookham Rise.
- 1950 Awarded CBE; rejoined Royal Academy and elected RA on 14 March 1950. Hilda died in November.
- 1955 Retrospective Exhibition, Tate Gallery.
- 1959 Returned to 'Fernlea'. Knighted. Died 14 December at Canadian Memorial Hospital, Cliveden, Berkshire.
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- Gilbert and Stanley Spencer in Cookham: An Exhibition at the Stanley Spencer Gallery, Cookham 14 May – 31 August 1988. Cookham: Stanley Spencer Gallery, 1988.
- John Rothenstein. Stanley Spencer, the Man: Correspondence and Reminiscences. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1979. ISBN 0-8214-0431-8
- Alison Thomas and Timothy Wilcox. The Art of Hilda Carline: Mrs. Stanley Spencer. London: Usher Gallery, 1999. ISBN 0-85331-776-3
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stanley Spencer.|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Stanley Spencer|
- Paintings by Stanley Spencer at the BBC Your Paintings site
- Stanley Spencer Gallery
- Sandham Memorial Chapel
- Art and Vision of Stanley Spencer
- Love, Desire, Faith: Kendal exhibition, 2002