Sir Stanley SpencerDouble Nude Portrait: The Artist and his Second Wife 1937

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Artwork details

Artist
Sir Stanley Spencer (1891‑1959)
Title
Double Nude Portrait: The Artist and his Second Wife
Date 1937
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 838 x 937 mm frame: 1093 x 1121 x 80 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1974
Reference
T01863
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1930

Display caption

The explicit realism of this image is unusual in artistic images of the naked human form. Spencer shows his own and his wife’s body in a frank, non-idealised manner, paying close attention to the colour and texture of skin. This way of painting actual bodies may relate to his idiosyncratic Christian belief that God resides in everything and everybody.The sexual tension of the scene may reflect the fact that Spencer’s second marriage was never consummated – a situation represented symbolically by the uncooked meat.

May 2007

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