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23rd November 2022
First World War military hospitals had spartan bedding; Wilfred in Wilfred and Eileen experiences the 'prickly and coarse texture' of the blankets in a Boulogne hospital. But in his work for the spectacular Sandham Memorial Chapel, Stanley Spencer (1891-1959) turns hospital bedclothes into comforting, patterned, protective cocoons. Spencer served as a soldier and a hospital orderly on the Salonika front and, rather than the horrors of war, he chose to depict daily life and domestic duties such as filling tea urns, sorting the laundry and, here, Bedmaking (1927-32).
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