Stanley Spencer / England 1891–1959 / Interior at Cookham with spring flowers 1937 / Oil on canvas / 50.9 x 76.5cm / Gift of Julie O’Duffy in memory of Dr John and Mrs Rita O’Duffy through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2012. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program / © Courtesy of the artist’s estate /

Stanley Spencer
Interior at Cookham with spring flowers 1937

Not Currently on Display

Unlike his visionary religious paintings — set among an idealised depiction of the Cookham environment and its people — Stanley Spencer’s smaller still-life images were based on direct observation, painted with meticulous detail.

Interior at Cookham with spring flowers embodies a sense of belonging; Spencer stated that ‘what makes it “there” and nowhere else [is] my being able to find myself in it’. The intimate recording of this genteel dining room conveys memories of the conviviality of family life.


The Berkshire village of Cookham, west of London, was a place of enduring significance for English painter Stanley Spencer. Both born and raised there, he returned in the 1930s and lived at ‘Lindworth’, a large semi-detached house on the high street.

The ready market for Spencer’s still-lifes, as with his landscapes, assisted the artist in times of financial need. It was his religious work that Spencer saw as his chief contribution to art history. As such, Spencer was often disparaging of his still-lifes and landscapes, referring to them as “pot-boilers”. However, the animated attention to detail he gave to the subject of this work as well as the sense of place that it engendered, makes such a painting (and others like it) of enduring interest.