Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Arriving in Heaven

Sir Stanley Spencer R A (1891 - 1959)
John Donne Arriving in Heaven 1911
Pencil, pen and ink and wash
30.5 by 33.5cm.; 12 by 13in.
Private collection

The inspiration for the subject came from a copy of Donne's Sermons given to Spencer by his friends Jacques and Gwen Raverat.

It shows Spencer's interpretation of the poet's image of his own arrival in Heaven, '...going to Heaven by Heaven...', which Spencer presents as Donne crossing Widbrook Common, near Cookham, and passing four figures, each praying in different directions, to express the all-encompassing nature of Heaven