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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Glyn Philpot: Flesh and Spirit


Pallant House Gallery / Chichester / Art

In the early 1900s, the British artist Glyn Philpot R.A. (1884–1937) had a comfortable life. He was doing 10 to 12 commissions a year and making thousands of pounds, which made possible his travels in France, Italy, America, and North Africa. Philpot did portraits of important patrons—famously, the poet Siegfried Sassoon, but also people like the Duchess of Westminster. Slowly he accepted his homosexuality, even as he embraced Roman Catholicism. By the 1920s, Philpot had a male lover, Vivian Forbes, and his paintings of young men and male nudes flared with homoeroticism. Scandal hit when his faun-like sculpture The Guardian of the Flame (1931) and his painting The Great Pan were stripped from the Royal Academy. Patrons began to dwindle, leaving the artist destitute by 1937, the year of his death. Philpot has always had a cult following, but this large retrospective, the first in 40 years, should bring mainstream admiration as well. —E.C.

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Pallant House Gallery 9 N Pallant, Chichester PO19 1TJ, United Kingdom
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