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Cecily Brown’s New Paintings Are Beautifully Sinister Visions of British History

Britain’s stately homes have meant a lot of things to Cecily Brown. As a child growing up in suburban Surrey, in the southeast of England, they meant boredom—mandatory school trips and last-resort entertainment on rainy days. The gardens were nice. As a young artist waitressing for a catering company, they meant extravagant weddings and a paycheck.

And now, as one of Britain’s most revered living artists, collected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Pompidou in Paris, and the Tate in her native London, they mean work once more: In September, the painter (and eternal auction favorite) opened an exhibition at Blenheim Palace, the Baroque birthplace of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, current home of the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, and a UNESCO World Heritage site....

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