Sir Stanley Spencer

Tree and Chicken Coops, Wangford


Not on display

Sir Stanley Spencer 1891–1959
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 457 × 762 mm
frame: 662 × 967 × 55 mm
Bequeathed by Sir Edward Marsh through the Contemporary Art Society 1953

Display caption

Spencer and fellow painter Hilda Carline married in the village of Wangford, Suffolk, in February 1925. They lodged in the village for parts of the year around this time. Spencer was very fond of the area, describing it as ‘full of character’. This is one of nine paintings he made of the landscape in and around Wangford. He said of this work that he had in mind Scottish ballads such as ‘The Twa Corbies’, a grim song about two ravens feasting on the abandoned corpse of a knight.

Gallery label, October 2020

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Catalogue entry


Not inscribed.
Canvas, 18×30 (46×76·5).
Bequeathed by Sir Edward Marsh through the Contemporary Art Society 1953.
Coll: Purchased by Sir Edward Marsh from the artist 1926.
Exh: Exhibitions of Paintings, ... by Artists Resident in Great Britain and the Dominions, Imperial Gallery of Art, Imperial Institute, April–June 1927 (116), as ‘Landscape’; Contemporary British Art, Whitechapel Art Gallery, October–December 1929 (265); Contemporary British Artists, Agnew's, November–December 1930 (30); Twenty-Five Years of British Paintings, 1910–1935, Mayor Gallery, April–May 1935 (46); British Council, Empire Exhibition, Johannesburg, 1936 (698); Venice Biennale, 1938 (British Pavilion, 66); Leger Gallery, March–April 1939 (19), as ‘The Lonely Tree’; Temple Newsam, Leeds, July–September 1947 (16), as ‘Tree and Chicken Coops’; C.A.S., The Private Collector, Tate Gallery, March–April 1950 (263); Tate Gallery, November–December 1955 (26).
Lit: E. Marsh, A Number of People, 1939, p.360; Spencer, 1961, p.174.
Repr: Rothenstein, 1945, pl.18 (in colour); Studio, CXXXIV, 1947, p.133 (in colour).

The artist said that he had in mind Scottish ballads such as ‘The Twa Corbies’. He lived at Wangford near Southwold for about a year after his marriage in 1925.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II

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