SPENCER, Stanley

Stanley Spencer sketches for portrait of Louis Behrend



Stanley Spencer sketches of four heads, the sitter is Louis Behrend, drawn circa 1928.  Drawn on ‘Surrey Bond’ water marked paper, the sketches are in light pencil and placed on the top portion of a sheet. Very difficult to photograph. Christies Studio Stamp on verso indicating authenticity. The sheet has old light creases in margins else very good.

Image size 200 x 460mm  (7.75 x 18 inches)

Sheet size 405 x 510mm (15.75 x 20 inches



Item details

A portrait of Louis Behrend can be found in the Tate Gallery collection. Louis and his wife Mary Behrend commissioned a chapel as a memorial for Mary’s brother, Lieutenant Henry Willoughby Sandham, who died at the end of the First World War. In 1923 they commissioned Spencer to make paintings for the Chapel. Consequently Spencer moved to Burghclere to work in-situ.

‘The Chapel is consecrated “The Oratory of All Saints” and only became officially recognised by its colloquial name Sandham Memorial Chapel following the National Trust’s takeover of the property. Spencer would refer to it as his “Holy-Box”, whilst the architect and patrons would privately refer to it as Spencer’s “God-Box”. Meanwhile, John and Mary Behrend’s children pejoratively called it the “biscuit factory”, in response to its “municipal” characteristics’ Wikipedia.

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