Sir Stanley Spencer
Mending Cowls, Cookham 1915

Artwork details

Sir Stanley Spencer 1891–1959
Mending Cowls, Cookham
Date 1915
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1092 x 1092 mm
frame: 1194 x 1194 x 76 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1962
Not on display

Display caption

The wooden cowls, which move with the wind, provide ventilation to the oasthouses where hops are dried. These examples could be seen from the nursery window of Fernlea, the house in Cookham where Spencer grew up. For him, Cookham was a sacred place and, in his paintings, was often the setting for the mysteries of the Bible. Of these cowls he wrote: ‘They seemed to be always looking at something and somewhere. When they veered round towards us they seemed to be looking at something above our own nursery window ... With their white wooden heads, they served as reminders of religious presence.’

July 2007

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