New... the UK's 'Sistine Chapel' comes to London

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Stanley Spencer’s poignant depictions of life during the First World War are leaving their permanent home at the Sandham Memorial Chapel in Burghclere, Hampshire, to be exhibited at Somerset House this autumn - the first major show in London for the National Trust in 18 years.

The 1920s chapel, created as a memorial to Lieutenant Henry Willoughby Sandham who died at the end of the First World War, has often been described as 'the UK’s Sistine Chapel'.

The exhibition 'Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War' will feature a series of large-scale canvas panels from one of the most original and acclaimed British painters of the 20th century. The exhibition runs from 7 November 2013 to 26 January 2014 then tours to Pallant House Gallery in Sussex from 15 February until June 2014.

The paintings show Spencer’s personal recollection of his wartime experiences. They are an intimate reflection of everyday life – washing lockers, inspecting kit, sorting laundry, scrubbing floors and taking tea – in which he found spiritual resonance and sustenance.

The pictures are leaving their permanent home for a few months while a major conservation project takes place at the chapel, for which the Trust needs to raise £400,000. If you are interested in donating to this project visit our Sandham Memorial Chapel website.