Sacred and Profane: The Art of Stanley Spencer

Ref: C3742774

This course will explore the extraordinary world of this most original twentieth century artist. Famous for portrayals of biblical events taking place in his native village of Cookham, Spencer was also an official war artist and a fine painter of landscapes and portraits, whose colourful personal life inspired a revolution in the painting of the nude.

Course aim

This course aims to familiarise students with the life and work of the artist Stanley Spencer, through a detailed study of a varied selection of his fascinating paintings and drawings.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Have gained an overview of the artistic output of Stanley Spencer and be able to discuss his works in class.
  • Identify two or more influences that contributed to the subject matter of his paintings.
  • Examine and discuss 'The Resurrection, Cookham' (1924-6).
  • Identify and describe some of the images resulting from Spencer's wartime experiences.
  • Recognise and identify some of the locations at which Spencer painted.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • The tutor will bring relevant books to the sessions and a reading list will be identified and provided for those who wish to read more about the artist.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Students may wish to visit The Sandham Memorial Chapel at Burghclere and other exhibitions and galleries displaying Spencer works. Details of current Spencer exhibitions will be given.

Download full course information sheet

Sacred and Profane: The Art of Stanley Spencer


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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