Stanley Spencer (1891-1959) British painter
The son of an organist and music teacher, Stanley Spencer received little formal education before he entered the Slade School of Art in 1908 at the age of 17. There he developed the typical techniques which formed the basis of his highly distinctive work.
Called a true visionary, Spencer created paintings which fused the divine and the common, often transfiguring scenes of everyday life from the village of Cookham (on the river Thames), where he was born in 1891 and spent most of his life. He reached the highlight of his creative powers in the 1920's with his murals in Berkshire's Burghclere Chapel and paintings such as The Resurrection, Cookham (1924-1927). His last work was an altarpiece dedicated to his first wife Hilda, but it remained unfinished as he died in 1959, just after being knighted by the Queen of England.
Cookham-on-Thames has a Stanley Spencer Gallery, dedicated entirely to Sir Stanley and his works. Its website is at http://www.cookham.com/spencerindex.htm. Tate Gallery in London does also host various Spencer paintings. All of them are listed on http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ArtistWorks?id=2062.