Portrait of Lathonia Mercer, Oct 1959

Drawing

 

Portrait of Lathonia Mercer, October 1959

Pencil on paper, 49 x 37cm.  Signed and dated, ‘Stanley Spencer /Oct 1959’

Gifted by Lathonia Mercer 2017

This portrait of the 22 year-old daughter of his doctor was drawn in two sittings not long before the artist’s death.  As a teenager, Lathonia Mercer had sometimes accompanied her father, the Cookham GP, Dr Vaudrey Mercer, on his visits to Spencer.  At the time of drawing, concerned that Spencer was not eating properly, Mercer regularly invited him to meals with his family.  He also suggested Spencer might like to draw Lathonia’s portrait.  Learning of her engagement to Michael Miller, the artist concurred with enthusiasm, explaining as the sitter recalled, that ‘he would start with my eyes, to ensure the face was in the right position on the paper, and he wanted especially to include the ring on my finger’.  The couple celebrated their Golden Wedding in 2010.

Text:  Carolyn Leder 2012