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About this work

This small painting is by Christopher Wood, it is 33x40cm and is painted with oil on board, we think it was bought by Jim Ede from Christopher Wood’s parents after Wood’s death.

Christopher Wood and flowers

Flowers give me more pleasure than anything and still life is the thing I like painting the best. I feel so much for still life, although perhaps it’s the thing that appeals least to the public.

Christopher Wood, letter to his mother, 20 October 1923

I am still painting flowers and fruit and still life more than landscape. I find it just as interesting and often more beautiful. I am by degree learning perseverance and patience, the two things most essential to an artist.

Christopher Wood, letter to his mother, 22 August 1924.

On receiving flowers in Paris in 1927 that had been sent to him by the artist Winifred Nicholson:

Thank you so much for thinking of me and sending me these flowers. Nothing, I say nothing because I mean nothing, has given me such pleasure as they did arriving as the did and when they did. Only you could have packed them so well and in such a way that they would arrive fresher than they left.

Who is Christopher Wood?

Wood was born in Liverpool. Through extended visits to Paris between 1921 and 1924 he came into contact with many artists, meeting Picasso and Jean Cocteau in 1923. In Britain he became close friends with Ben and Winifred Nicholson, painting with them in Cumberland in 1928. That year he also met Alfred Wallis on a visit to St Ives with Ben Nicholson, and lived near Wallis for several months. He first visited Brittany in 1929, returning in 1930. During his Parisian years Wood was introduced to opium by Cocteau. He became addicted to it and was under the drug’s influence when he was killed by a train at Salisbury station in 1930.

Jim Ede on Christopher Wood

‘His work is the crystallisation of a deep enjoyment of fundamental things and his ideas become alive – so living that when we see a place in one of his paintings you immediately wish to go there – you are there. Such vivacity of contact and such simple conveying of that contact through the medium of paint is I think the characteristic of a real painter…..A great number of his paintings give me a renewed sense of the beauty of life and the reality of that beauty.’

‘A warmth of humanity nourishes his vision and he invites us to share this warmth. A bunch of flowers is a bunch of flowers, smell it; a street is a street, walk up it.’

Where can I see it?

This painting is currently on show in a major exhibition of works by Christopher Wood at Pallant House in Chichester called ‘Sophisticated Primitive’ on until 2 October 2016, Christopher Wood at Pallant House.

Buy the book

Kettle’s Yard has the largest public collection of works by Christopher Wood, our book tells the story of Wood through the works in the collection and includes ‘Notes on Christopher Wood’ by Jim Ede. The book has over 40 colour illustrations, costs £12 and can be bought here or by calling us on 01223 748100.