Sir William Coldstream
Inez Spender 1937–8

Artwork details

Inez Spender
Date 1937–8
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 770 x 1018 mm
frame: 945 x 1208 x 120 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1949
Not on display

Display caption

Between 1936 and 1939, Coldstream made a series of portraits of his friends. This image of the first wife of the poet Stephen Spender has been called 'a masterpiece of analytical realism' and necessitated about forty sittings. Spender commissioned this image during the couple's impetuous and short-lived marriage. Her clothes and her unusually short hair mark her out as part of an intellectual circle. In 1939 Inez left Spender for the poet Charles Madge.

August 2004

About this artwork