Art: Revelation in Cookham

"An academic, stylistic history of modern English art could be written without a mention of this artist," intoned London's Times last week, "but to omit him is to miss one of the most remarkable figures of the century." The Manchester Guardian agreed: "The most original artist of time a mystic to whom nothing is commonplace." The painter in question was Britain's puckish, eccentric Stanley Spencer, 64, who was being honored last week with a retrospective of 83 oils at London's Tate Gallery. The paintings represented a lifetime devoted to religious themes−all depicted in the comfortable...

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