Colour Study for the Central Group of Allegory, c. 1929
Unframed (ref: 1506)
Oil on canvas,
117 x 57 in. (287x 144.8 cm.)
Literature: The Unknown Artist: Stanley Lewis and his contemporaries, Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Bedford Museum, 12th June - 5th September 2010, Liss Fine Art, 2010.
Exhibited: The Unknown Artist: Stanley Lewis and his contemporaries, Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Bedford Museum, 12th June - 5th September 2010..cat.no.23
Stanley recalls that “I painted the big picture on a step ladder!”
”The theme of this painting is man and nature - symbolized by the man holding the hedgehog – living in harmony.….. The hedgehog represents the extraordinary life in the countryside. The pictures theme is a celebration of simple country, country life and animals big and small."
Candidates for the Rome Scholarship were required to submit
two figure compositions in colour designed for a wall decoration
and a full-size cartoon for a portion of one of these. Lewis
completed Allegory whilst staying with his Aunt Joan in Westgate
Terrace, London. Here he found the model for the central figure
– a road sweeper who happened to be passing. ‘I looked out of
the window and saw a tall man cleaning the street so I got him to
pose for a few minutes just so I could get the hang of it.’ Sally’s
daughter Joan modelled for the girl with the apple.
A review of the finalists (undated newspaper clipping) was critical
of the fact that ‘…..there is now some danger of competitors
cultivating a Rome Scholarship style, to please the assessors.
That the British School at Rome should stand for the classical
tradition in art is natural and proper, but classical principles
ought not to be confused with classical reminiscences. Take
away the reflections of Piero della Francesca and Michelangelo
from some of the designs, and there is not very much left.’