N06021 SASHES MEADOW, COOKHAM 1914–19
Inscr. on verso of canvas and stretcher ‘G. Spencer 1919’.
Canvas, 18 1/4×24 1/4 (45×61).
Purchased from the Leicester Galleries (Grant-in-Aid) 1951.
Coll: Purchased by Sir Augustus Daniel from the artist October 1919.
Exh: The Collection of the late Sir Augustus Daniel, Leicester Galleries, June 1951 (56), as ‘Sashes Meadow’; Reading, June–July 1964 (5, repr. pl.2).
Lit: John Rothenstein, Modern English Painters: Lewis to Moore, 1956, p.227.
Repr: Sir Joseph Duveen, Thirty Years of British Art, 1930, p.152, as ‘The Green at Cookham’.
Begun in the summer of 1914, this was painted directly from nature, as are practically all Gilbert Spencer's landscapes. It was not finished until 1919, when the large tree on the right was added. The artist recalled that he showed this to Henry Tonks at the Slade School and was asked to leave the picture in his room. Describing the site, the artist wrote (5 May 1958) that N06021 was painted from Odney bathing place, just below Odney Weir and looking south-east towards Sashes Meadow. The weir lay to the east of Cookham, which was a favourite haunt of the artist: ‘We were very attracted to the east, mystified by the north probably because of the river [Thames] and toll gate barrier, disliked the west because of a forbidding horizon and liked the south as far as Widbrook Common. It may sound silly but it was a big issue in our walks.’
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II