Walter E Spradberry (1889 – 1969)
Spradbery was born in East Dulwich and moved to Walthamstow as a child. We studied at Walthamstow School of Art where he later taught. He was a committed pacifist, serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First Wold War and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for leading a stretcher party under fire. He later became a supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Spradbery specialised in landscape painting, in particular the countryside around Epping Forest close to his home in Buckhurst Hill. In addition to his design for London Transport, he received commissions from LNER and Southern Railway. In 1970 a memorial exhibition was held at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow; Spradbery had campaigned for the establishment of the Gallery to honour the designer, writer and socialist William Morris.
The arrangement of elements or details in an artefact or a work of art.
Landscape is one of the principle genres of Western art. In early paintings the landscape was a backdrop for the composition, but in the late 17th Century the appreciation of nature for its own sake began with the French and Dutch painters (from whom the term derived). Their treatment of the landscape differed: the French tried to evoke the classical landscape of ancient Greece and Rome in a highly stylised and artificial manner; the Dutch tried to paint the surrounding fields, woods and plains in a more realistic way. As a genre, landscape grew increasing popular, and by the 19th Century had moved away from a classical rendition to a more realistic view of the natural world. Two of the greatest British landscape artists of that time were John Constable and JMW Turner, whose works can be seen in the Tate collection (www.tate.org.uk). There can be no doubt that the evolution of landscape painting played a decisive role in the development of Modernism, culminating in the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists . Since then its demise has often been predicted and with the rise of abstraction, landscape painting was thought to have degenerated into an amateur pursuit. However, landscape persisted in some form into high abstraction, and has been a recurrent a theme in most of the significant tendencies of the 20th Century. Now manifest in many media, landscape no longer addresses solely the depiction of topography, but encompasses issues of social, environmental and political concern.
Work of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is a tightly stretched piece of canvas, paper or a wooden panel. Painting involves a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's intellectual concerns effecting the content of a work.