Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: The Three Marys

Artist Sir Thomas Monnington (1902-1976): The Three Marys

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Sir Thomas Monnington (1902-1976):
The Three Marys
Framed (ref: 6058)

Oil on canvas 
34 13/16 x 46 7/8in. (88.5 x 119 cm)

See all works by Sir Thomas Monnington oil religion

​Exhibited: Royal Academy, 1952 (216)​
According to John Monnington, the artist's son, this canvas​, dating to the ​early 50's​, was painted​ at Leyswoods (Groombridge) in Kent, in  woods that were known as  'the sand pit', at the back of Monnington's studio . During WW2  the Canadian army  used 'the sand pit' as a training area for medical front-line hospital staff and Monnington - on seeing  tents erected there - ​​ had a sort of vision of what he believed was a place that could have had some similarity to early Christian sites in Palestine. 

According to ​the artist's son it was painted en plein air and then finished in the studio. Monnington was very much influenced by Cezanne at this period. The semi​-​abstract pointillist technique provides a link with the Bristol Ceiling which as Monnington's first purely abstract work was embarked upon a year after The Three Marys was finished. John Monnington has a small​ ​painting  done at the same place and time, though without the figures​.​  ​

​Stylistically it is fascinating to compare The Three Marys to Monnington's Annunciation which, ​exhibited at The Royal Academy some thirty years earlier, is of a similar size and subject, showing  a grouping of women dispersed within a woodland setting