THIEVES have stolen a distinctive painting by renowned British artist Sir Stanley Spencer.

The artwork, entitled Cookham from Englefield, was taken from the Stanley Spencer Gallery in Cookham High Street.

The theft happened just before 1am yesterday morning, police revealed this afternoon.

Both the gallery and the private owner who had loaned it are devastated, police said.

The oil on canvas painting, created in 1948, was taken after a window was smashed at the gallery.

Police were alerted by a member of the public.

Investigating officer Det Con Iain Watkinson, of Force CID in Maidenhead, said: “The painting is very distinctive and it holds a great deal of sentimental value to the owners. The owners and the gallery are both devastated by its loss.

“I would like to speak to anyone who saw any suspicious vehicles in the area, or a person or people acting suspiciously, around the time of the burglary.

“I would also urge people working in the art industry to be vigilant and be aware this painting has been stolen.”

Call Det Con Watkinson via the 24-hour Police Enquiry Centre on 101.

Or call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.