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Madonna Lillies (c.1935)





Stanley Spencer

Madonna Lillies (c.1935)


Stanley Spencer was born at Fernlea, Cookham High Street on 30 June 1891, the tenth child of a family of eleven, of whom two died in infancy. His father William was an organist and music teacher. Pupils coming for lessons and his older siblings practicing the piano or the violin created a musical atmosphere in which Stanley flourished. Music was always an important part of his life.

Two of his sisters ran a school in a shed in Fernlea garden and Stanley received his early education at their hands. His reading was based on the Bible, Bunyan and Milton. He attended the parish church as well as his mother's Methodist chapel (now the Spencer Gallery).

His early interest and ability in art was fostered by lessons from a local artist and later by a year at the Maidenhead Technical Institute. In 1908 he went to the Slade School and gained several prizes as well as the nickname "Cookham" because he talked so much about the village and returned home there every night.

Article By: Dave Roberts.

First Published: 2007.

The Stanley Spencer Gallery



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