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Glyn Philpot/ Flesh and Spirit – Pallant House Chichester

Pallant House has done much to raise the profile of 20th century British art.

In recent years I have seen exhibitions of Leon Underwood and John Minton.

Now it is the turn of Glyn Philpot.

Philpot was an immensely successful society portraitist in the 1920s who moved to Paris in the 1930s where he knew Henri Matisse well.

He was gay and did not find his voice until he met Jamaican stoker Henry Thomas who missed his boat back to the Caribbean and became the manservant and probably the lover of Philpot.

Certainly there is a passion in his portrait of Henry Thomas which is lacking in the earlier work.

The great thing about the Pallant is the standing collection, much of which the Dean of Chichester – Water Hussey – who must have had a fine eye, donated in 1977.

Other bequests have reinforced what is now a fine collection of modern British art.

I was particularly impressed by a landscape by Paul Nash.

My visit yesterday was rushed in order to catch a train from Chichester Station but I usually treat the first view as Pathfinder Operation and there was enough there in the Philpot exhibition and standing collection to entice me back.

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About Alice Mansfield

A graduate of the Slade, Alice has painted and written about art all her life. With her children now having now grown up and departed the nest, she recently took up sculpture. More Posts