Me and Hilda at Downshire Hill (1943)
Drawing, Pencil on paper, 579mm x 449mm
Volume 2 of the Astor Collection of Drawings
In Volume 2, Spencer commented on works which include this drawing and ‘Me and Hilda, Pilgrim’s Lane’ (also on loan to the Stanley Spencer Gallery): ‘To me the Elsie series & the late in book you & me series of four are very important items in the book.’ The ‘you & me’ drawings were studies for pictures in his Hilda ‘chapel’ in the ‘Church House’. From this drawing he commenced an unfinished painting, which hung on his wall at Cookham until his death, writing to Hilda (who had died in 1950) on 3 May 1959, ‘Dear duckie, I am so much wanting to write to you as always. I am beginning the painting of you & I returning to 47, Downshire Hill from a walk on the Heath.’ Behind them is the church of St John and the two roads leading to Hampstead Heath. Stanley and Hilda are almost at the front gate of 47 Downshire Hill, the home of the Carline family for many years. Hilda’s features are distorted, but in other drawings she is shown more correctly as a handsome woman.
Lent by a private collector