Saturday, 27 October 2012

Charles Spencelayh and Helping Mother

'Helping Mother' (1899) by Charles Spencelayh; Private Collection?

I had never heard of English painter Charles Spencelayh, born on 27 October 1865. Judging from the length of his Wikipedia page, he seems to be a minor painter. Today's painting of a girl helping her mother immediately caught my eye. I think it is quite stunning because of its photographic quality and because the girl's face looks so modern. I also find that it could be two paintings, namely a portrait and a still life. Because both depictions in this painting are strong enough to stand on its own. Just imagine the girl without the food in front of her and the other way around. Do you see what I mean? Spencelayh was a painter in the Academic style and exhibited at the Paris Salon but more often in Britain. He painted domestic scenes, still lifes and portraits. I couldn't find the location for today's painting but found that it sold at Christie's in 1999 for 45,500 GBP.

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