Arriving with Wounded at a
Dressing Station at Smol, Macedonia, September 1916
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Sir Stanley Spencer was born in Cookham, Berkshire, England in June 30, 1891. He is often
considered the leading painter of the two great wars. His works are primarily
associated with religious imagery and is predominantly Surreal in style. Stanley was a pupil at the
Slade School of Art at the age of 17 years old. He was elected into the Royal Academy in
1950 and Knighted in 1959. Sir Stanley Spencer died in 1959.
The artist whom David Carrier (an author), describes as one who had a thoroughly repressed childhood and
one that had a great desire for erotic
satisfaction," was also a man who serve in the great First World War .
He volunteered to join the Royal Army
Medical Corps and worked at Beaufort hospital in Bristol. In 1916, he was sent to be part of the 68th
Field Ambulance Corps as a nurse.
He wrote to his friend Henry Lamb about his experiences while working as a
hundred patients or more would arrive in the middle of the night-this was disquieting and
disturbing. One had just gotten used to the patients one had; had mentally and
imaginatively visualize them. I have to move patients with their beds from one ward to the
another or perhaps to the theater.
The painting, Travois Arriving with Wounded at a
Dressing Station at Smol, Macedonia, September 1916,
was painted during the
armistice of the war. It clearly demonstrates the atrocities of the war that
Spencer experienced. Although his painting style
was not affected by the war lingering in his memory.
In 1917, Spencer again wrote of his experiences while in service to his friend Desmond
Chute. I'd do anything for these men. I cannot refuse them anything, and they
love me to make drawings of photos of their wives or a children or a brother who had been
His sympathy towards the wounded and dead soldiers
was the greatest influence war had on this artist. He painted pictures for
them and of them. In order to take their minds off the war, and by doing
so, he changed his traditional painting method, which were mostly
religious themes, to one that was more representative of reality.