Our Collection

Chestnuts (1939)

Drawing, pencil on paper , 579mm x 449mm
Man carrying cabbages. Stanley threading chestnuts. Daphne Charlton examining tree

Volume 1 of the Astor Collection of Drawings 1939-43
A picture entitled ‘Chestnuts’, c1949, was taken from this drawing and produced as a design for a tapestry woven for the Dovecote Tapestry Company. The figures include a man carrying cabbages, the artist threading chestnuts and Daphne Charlton exploring the bole of a tree. Spencer spent much of 1939 in Leonard Stanley, Gloucestershire, with the painters George and Daphne Charlton, boarding at the White Hart Inn. George was a lecturer at the Slade, where Daphne had been one of his students. Stanley and the exuberant Daphne had an affair during this period. Spencer purchased four scrapbooks at the nearby town of Stonehouse, in which he drew a series of pencil compositions over the next ten years. A number of the drawings commemorate his life in Gloucestershire.

 lent by a private collector