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About the author
 
Words and pictures:

(p.4) Woman in White
(p.7) Stanley Spencer
(p.31) Augustus John
(p.41) Cranach 's Eve
(p.140) Gainsborough
(p.166) Mrs Dalloway
(p.188) Lucio Fontana
(p.264)
Gwen John

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After Anjelica (detail)       

'He had set a scene from the Bible in an ordinary cottage garden. It was, art critics would observe, an inspiring example of the genre in which Spencer excelled, of a spiritual subject painted in an earthy – earthly – style.' (p. 7)

 Stanley Spencer (1891–1959), Zachariah and Elizabeth, 1913–14

Spencer painting

      © The Estate of Stanley Spencer 2009. All rights reserved DACS. Image © Tate, London 2009

For many years Zachariah and Elizabeth illuminated the living room of a private house in north-west London. The painting in the novel is entirely fictional.