Marcela Florido on Stanley Spencer

Stanley Spencer, The Nativity, 1912, oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches (University C
Stanley Spencer, The Nativity, 1912, oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches (University College London)

Marcela Florido considers Stanley Spencer's The Nativity (1912).

Florido writes: "The stillness of the bulky figures immediately brought to mind old Italian masters from the 15th century – Fra Angelico, Ghirlandaio, above all Piero – but the earthy mid-tones that blend them into their background felt uniquely local to me. The unexpected apparition of arms, fences, doors and bodies in that humid landscape led me to perceive mystery and mysticism in what seemed to be a mundane, daily event. There was a quality of typical English culture in the way the figures gathered in this park, or maybe just someone’s backyard."