Stanley Spencer: Through the Birds' Window

Stanley Spencer, The Builders, , 1935, oil on canvas, 111 x 91 cm, Yale Center f
Stanley Spencer, The Builders, , 1935, oil on canvas, 111 x 91 cm, Yale Center for British Art

Alex Cohen muses on Stanley Spencer's painting The Builders, 1935.

Cohen writes: "Spencer was a master at elevating ordinary acts into deeply emotive and even divine experiences. By letting his compassion for ordinariness spill from masonry to the secret lives of birds he expanded the idea of home. Illustrating the bird’s perspective alongside the builders creates a harmony that draws ones attention to unassuming detail. One feels the labor and love behind each brick that makes a building just as each leaf on a tree is meaningful to the birds. Spencer didn’t paint the birds with human attributes as a Disney cartoon might, but sympathized with what would feel familiar to a birds’ perspective."