This painting recalls a visit to a shop in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire.

Spencer's friend Daphne is shown choosing some wool with Spencer, who appears doubly subservient in the painting as both shop assistant and assistant to the shopper. In 1938 Spencer left his home in Cookham following the break up of his second marriage, to Patricia Preece. While living in Swiss Cottage, London he met Daphne, the wife of the artist and Slade lecturer George Charlton. In July 1939 the Charltons went on a painting holiday with Spencer to Gloucestershire. Spencer set up studio at Leonard Stanley which gave him the first chance to produce large-scale paintings since leaving Cookham. He created a series of drawings that were intended as the basis for a series of paintings for a ‘chapel’ dedicated to Daphne Charlton and showing her and Spencer on their rambles around the village; only four were painted and The Woolshop is one of these. This work fills an important gap in the Tate's collection of works spanning Spencer's career. Extract of an article in the 2007 Art Fund Review written by Andrew Wilson.


Maurice Farquharson.

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