Gilbert Spencer (1892 - 1979)

Man at a Sluice Gate on the Thames

SKU: 9610
Oil on canvas.

Height – 71.5cm x Width – 56cm


Wilfred Evill; Barings Bank Corporate Collection

Gilbert Spencer was a committed landscape painter, adding his unique voice to the great tradition of English pastoral painting. The Secretary of the Royal Academy, Sidney Hutchinson, remarked that Spencer ‘might well be called the John Constable of theTwentieth Century.’

These abilities may be seen in his ‘Man at a Sluice Gate’, and It is curious to note just how similar the treatment of water is to Stanley Spencer’s ‘Swan Upping at Cookham’, 1915-19, Tate Collection.

This painting was acquired directly from the artist by the celebrated collector, Wilfred Evill. As a lawyer, Evill represented both Gilbert and Stanley Spencer, as well as the young Lucian Freud. Interestingly, both Spencer’s painted his portrait, and the work by Gilbert dates to the same year as ‘The Sluice Gate’, so it might well have been something that Evill saw in his studio.

Gilbert Spencer, portrait of WILFRED EVILL, 1931-1932

Stanely Spencer, portrait of WILFRED EVILL, 1942


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Gilbert Spencer
1892 - 1979

Painter, especially of landscapes, draughtsman, teacher and writer, and brother of the painter Stanley Spencer. Born at Cookham, Berkshire. Spencer studied at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, woodcarving at the Royal College of Art, 1911-12, then with Fred Brown and Henry Tonks at the Slade School of Fine Art, 1913-20. Between 1915 and 1919 he served in the army. Spencer had his first one-man show at the Goupil Gallery in 1923; he also exhibited at the RA (he was elected RA in 1960), NEAC, (of which he was a member), Leicester Galleries, RSA, Redfern Gallery and many other venues. Although he produced notable wall paintings for Holywell Manor, Oxford, 1934-6, Spencer made his name as a landscape artist working mainly in the English southern counties. At various times he taught at the Royal College of Art, Glasgow School of Art and Camberwell, serving meanwhile as an Official War Artist, 1940-3. His book Stanley Spencer appeared in 1961 and his autobiography, Memoirs of a Painter, in 1974. A retrospective exhibition was held at Reading in 1964. The Tate and many other public collections hold his work. He sometimes just signed his work GS. He lived in Hampstead and towards the end of his life near Reading, Berkshire.


SKU: 9279

Gilbert Spencer (1892 - 1979)

Portrait of RJA, 1951


SKU: 9252

Gilbert Spencer (1892 - 1979)

The Artist’s Daughter, Gillian