Monday, May 21, 2007

The Art of Stanley Spencer

Stanley Spencer's paintings have always gripped me. But I find it hard to explain why.

Here is Christ Carrying the Cross, from 1920, oil on canvas, at the Tate Gallery in London.

He has set the scene in Cookham, his village in England.

I try different ways to understand it. Is it possibly how the event looked to angels who were looking on? Almost jaunty, crazy, with the people actually in the form of souls, as we must look to angels? (Can angels even see our physical bodies?)

But that's just today's attempt to understand its grip on me. There's a sense of longing, or sehnsucht, that I feel in it, it draws me in, and I want to be in it.

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