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Subject of Stanley Spencer work gifts portrait to Cookham gallery

The subject of a Stanley Spencer work of art has gifted the work to the eponymous High Street gallery.

Lathonia Miller’s father Dr Vaudrey Mercer was Spencer’s GP, who treated the artist towards the end of his life.

Following concerns the Cookham painter was not eating properly, he would come to Mrs Miller’s family home and enjoy meals with them. He made a portrait of her during his visits, and the work focuses on a ring she is wearing, as she had recently become engaged.

Mrs Miller, who now lives in Derbyshire with husband Michael, son of the late John Lewis Partnership chairman Sir Bernard Miller, gifted the drawing to the gallery on Tuesday, October 3.

Gallery spokesperson Claire Phillpot said: “We were absolutely thrilled to welcome Lathonia, her family and friends to the gallery for the official hanging of her portrait in our new exhibition.

“What really struck us all was the way Spencer had captured such an amazing likeness.”

The Portrait of Lathonia Mercer, drawn in October 1959, is one of many works on display at the gallery.

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