June 26, 1998

Sir, - P. J. Kavanagh (Bywords, June 5) is wrong in attributing "the artist is not a special kind of man, but every man is a special kind of artist" to Stanley Spencer.

This perhaps over-optimistic aphorism originated with Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, philosopher and expert on Indian arts and crafts, from whom it was purloined by Eric Gill and popularized in his 1930s essays on art.

FIONA MacCARTHY The Round Building, Hathersage, Sheffield.

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