Portrait of Frederick Brooker – 1955
Drawing, 1955, Pencil on Paper, 430mm x 360mm
Fred Brooker was an amateur footballer who caught Spencer’s eye when they shared a ward at the old St Luke’s Hospital, Maidenhead. Fred was recovering from a broken nose. According to Fred, Stan had just undergone surgery and wondered if he was still able to draw, so asked him to sit to him. They sat together in the rose garden all day and as the light faded he finished the work inside the hospital ward. Fred was a gravedigger by profession, a job which might well have appealed to Spencer, as resurrection and rising from the grave were themes he returned to several times in his work.
Within his family he was called Freddo, and had grown up at the Rosemary Dairy in Bakers Lane, Pinkneys Green although he later moved to Knowl Hill. He died in 2011 at the age of 85.
Private collection; on long term loan to the Stanley Spencer Gallery.