Courtyard at Noon
Though painted in the early 20th century during the rise of industrialism and the modern age, the quiet nature of this village scene evokes the simple life of a bygone era. Three villagers loiter outside absorbed in their daily life. Spencer captures the mood of this peaceful courtyard through his subdued palette of muted blues, greens, and subtle earth tones as well as his delicate broken brushwork.
Spencer was different from his fellow painters in New Hope in that he was more influenced by the grit of the Ashcan School than the cheer of the American Impressionists. He was a favorite of the celebrated collector Duncan Phillips, who purchased 8 paintings that are still part of the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC today. This work is Spencer at his very best.