Spencer Gore's 'The Icknield Way' is a landscape of preternatural luminosity and compaction, which bears the stylistic imprint of Cezanne inflected by the more expressive accents of van Gogh and Gauguin. Lozenge-like simplifications of natural forms, particularly visible in the trees and clouds, unify the composition. The ensuing dynamic is both agitated and stable. Gore contrives to hold fragmentation at bay without loss of pictorial energy. He animates the work even further by exaggerating colour to a kaleidoscopic degree. This is topography deeply experienced rather than superficially observed. It is the artist's masterpiece. Gore was a founder member of the Camden Town Group, an alliance of younger artists around Walter Sickert. Popular and promising, Gore's premature death from influenza robbed the group of a leading light. Paintings of this kind exerted a considerable influence on the young Sydney painter Grace Cossington Smith, who may have seen them in London as early as 1912.

AGNSW Handbook, 1999.


  • Title: The Icknield Way
  • Creator: Spencer Gore
  • Creator Lifespan: 1878 - 1914
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Date Created: 1912
  • Physical Dimensions: 63.4 x 76.2 cm stretcher; 83.9 x 96.6 x 4.8 cm frame
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Purchased 1962
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Signature & Date: Not signed. Not dated.
  • Provenance: The Redfern Gallery (England, estab. 1923), pre 27 Apr 1962, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from the Redfern Gallery 1962. Purchased from the exhibition 'Spencer Gore 1878-1914, Frederick Gore 1913-' 1962, 6 February - 3 March 1962. Mrs Spencer Gore (England), pre 1962, London/England
  • Artist Country: England

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