In what is being hailed as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ exhibition, Pallant House Gallery is playing host to the works of renowned British wartime artist, Stanley Spencer.
Spencer’s celebrated murals based on his experiences of the first world war – which have drawn praise as ‘Britain’s answer to the Sistine Chapel’ – will go on display from today (Saturday, February 15), until June.
This may be the last time the works leave their home at the Sandham Memorial Chapel in Hampshire.
To mark the centenary year of the outbreak of the first world war, the exhibition: Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War features a series of large-scale canvas panels from one of the most original and acclaimed British painters of the 20th century.
Assistant curator of pictures and sculpture at the National Trust, Amanda Bradley, is thrilled to be giving people this once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the works in Chichester.
“This exhibition has just left Somerset House, London, and the main core is 16 canvases originally hung in the chapel,” she said.
“We have taken this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see them.
“Conservation work is currently being done on the chapel and these pieces have only been to London and Chichester. I doubt this art will ever travel again.”
The paintings were completed in 1932 and have been permanently housed at Sandham Memorial Chapel, now in the care of the National Trust.
While the chapel undergoes major conservation work, the temporary relocation of the paintings to Pallant House offers a unique opportunity to see the murals in a gallery setting alongside works by many of Spencer’s contemporaries who are represented in the gallery’s extensive collection of modern British art.
Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War will be on exhibition at the Pallant House Gallery from February 15 to June 15, Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am–5pm.
9 North Pallant