Sorting and Moving Kitbags
Sir Stanley Spencer, CBE, RA (Cookham 1891– Cliveden 1959)
Orderlies sort the kit-bags belonging to a newly arrived convoy of soldiers in a bleak courtyard, a part of the Beaufort Hospital that, in essence, survives to the present day. Spencer wrote about the scene, remembering that ‘Immediately on arrival at the hospital the kit-bags of the soldiers just arrived would be stacked all together in the courtyard… The orderlies would then carry them to wherever the patient wanted then, or open them if so required. They were all padlocked’.
Oil painting on canvas, Sorting and Moving Kitbags by Sir Stanley Spencer, CBE, RA (Cookham 1891– Cliveden 1959), 1927. Painted in Henry Lamb's studio in Hampstead before the artist moved to Burghclere to work in the Chapel itself, the scene depicts a newly-arrived convoy in the background pointing out their kitbags to the hospital orderlies, who then would deliver the bags too the patients in their wards. The drab and limited range of colours, and the stark architecture again help to evoke a cold, cheerless institutional scene. Exhibited at Stanley Spencer's first solo exhibition at the Goupil Gallery, London, in March 1927.
Given with the chapel by John Louis Behrend (1881- 1972) and Mary Sandham Behrend (1884 - 1977), 1947
Makers and roles
Sir Stanley Spencer, CBE, RA (Cookham 1891– Cliveden 1959), artist
Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War, Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester, 2013 - 2015 Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War, Somerset House, London, 2013 - 2015 Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, 2013 - 2015
Bell 1992 Keith Bell, Stanley Spencer, A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, Phaidon Press, London 1992, p.420 Carline 1928 Richard Carline, New Mural Paintings by Stanley Spencer, Studio, No. 96, November 1928, p.316-23, p.316-23 Carline 1978 Richard Carline. Stanley Spencer at War, London, Faber and Faber, 1978, p.177 Stanley Spencer (ed. Keith Bell), Royal Academy of Arts, London with Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1980, p.107 Behrend 1965 George Behrend, Stanley Spencer at Burghclere, London, MacDonald, 1965, p.6 Robinson 1990 Duncan Robinson, Stanley Spencer, Phaidon, Oxford, 1990, p.40 Pople 1991 Kenneth Pople, Stanley Spencer: A Biography, Harper Collins London, 1991, p.96-97,122 Gough 2006 Paul Gough, Stanley Spencer: Journey to Burghclere, Samson & Company, Bristol, 2006, p.117-118