Spencer Frederick Gore's series of compositions painted in Letchworth between August and November 1912 were the most radical of his career. They have an intensity of colour and cubistic stylization which is unparalleled amongst Camden Town artists.
Wendy Baron discusses Gore's influences of this period, 'During the summer of 1912, while [Harold] Gilman was in Sweden, Gore borrowed his house at 100 Wilbury Road, Letchworth, and produced more than twenty paintings of the new garden city and its surrounding landscape. The unparalleled vigour and originality of these paintings represent his response to the stimulus of European Post-Impressionism as seen in several key exhibitions recently staged in London, in particular Manet and the Post-Impressionists (1910-1911), Gauguin and Cézanne at the Stafford Gallery and, perhaps most crucial to the Letchworth interlude, the Italian Futurist Painters at the Sackville Gallery in March 1911. In addition a small number of works by Kandinsky had been included in the annual Allied Artists exhibition.
In his attempt to express the underlying structure of natural objects he not only grouped the colours into uniform patterns, he also reduced the wayward shapes of nature, trees, clouds and so on down to their basic geometrical forms. The resultant stylization may appear exaggerated and conceptual, but it sprang from intensely concentrated observation of the subject, not from aesthetic formulae' (see W. Baron, Perfect Moderns A History of the Camden Town Group', Aldershot, 2000, p. 130).
Harold and Grace Gilman's new house at 100 Wilbury Road, Letchworth was completed in 1908. The Garden City had been the brain-child of Ebeneza Howard, a visionary whose concept of social living would have appealed to Gilman's socialist instincts. Howard realised his dream of building two satellite towns, Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City.
Other works from the 1912 Letchworth series include The Beanfield, Letchworth (Tate Britain, London); The Icknield Way (Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney); The Road (Letchworth Art Gallery); Letchworth Station (National Railway Museum, York); Harold Gilman's House at Letchworth (Government Art Collection); as well as two versions of The Cinder Path (Tate Britain, London and Ashmolean Museum, Oxford)
Frederick Gore, R.A., Spencer Gore's son comments on the Letchworth pictures, 'Letchworth Station was shown at the Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition. Together with Crofts Lane (private collection) and Sunset, Letchworth [the present work], it is among the paintings which suggested a similar synthesis of Post-Impressionist and Modernist tendencies not only to his Camden Town colleagues Gilman and Drummond but also to other London group artists such as Paul Nash. They have been recognised as the first solid achievement in the development of a Modern Movement in Britain' (see F. Gore in British Art in the 20th Century The Modern Movement, Royal Academy exhibition catalogue, London, 1987, p. 100).