Sargent, Sickert and Spencer at the Fitz

This morning I cycled into the centre past the rowers on the river. It’s the most energising thing to see people enthusiastically trying to bump each other while their supporters on the banks yell advice. Despite the wet changeable weather the rowers stoically rowed all day and where still at it when I got back. I went to the FitzWilliam to see the Sargent, Sickert & Spencer exhibition. It was extremely interesting as I had no idea at the range of work Sargent did, having only really known about Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose and Study of a Sicilian Peasant – both of which I am convinced are two of the best paintings I have ever seen. Not being a particular fan of Sickert or Spencer I wandered into the room behind and discovered some great sculptures. There was a nice Madonna and Child by William Reid Dick and some little pieces by Henry Moore but my absolute favourite was the Prodigal Son by Austin Wright. Wright has captured something so well and with so much expression that’s it’s quite unbelievable. You find yourself scrutinizing the piece trying to work out just why you get this overwhelming sense of the story and yet you just can’t see any facial expressions at all. It’s as if he has worked some magic and somehow you see through the rough metal all the shame; the guilt; the plea for forgiveness; the reassuring forgiveness given; the age old need for blessings to be bestowed and received and the strength of the father. So much is captured in the tiny piece in the same way a poem captures something and holds it still so we can examine it.

One Response to “Sargent, Sickert and Spencer at the Fitz”

  1. Joshua Duncan Says:

    I also loved the sculpture of the Prodigal Son.

    When I was searching for info on it, I found your site.

    Since that sculpture was your favorite, you might like the drawings I did of it while I was there.

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