Christopher Wood

Anemones in a glass jar

Oil and pencil on canvas: 16.5(h) x 12.5(w) in /

41.9(h) x 31.8(w) cm

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BS 312



Knowsley 1901 – 1930 Salisbury


Anemones in a glass jar


Oil & pencil on canvas: 16 ½ x 12 ½ in / 41.9 x 31.8 cm

Frame size: 21 ⅞ x 17 ⅞ in / 55.6 x 45.4 cm


Painted in 1925



Redfern Gallery, London

Robertson and Bruce, Dundee

Christie’s London, 29th October 1971, lot 123

Crane Kalman, London

Shaw Kennedy, acquired from the above, December 1972

Crane Kalman, London

Private collection, acquired from the above, May 1984



London, Redfern Gallery, Christopher Wood Memorial Exhibition, March 1936, cat. no. 14

London, New Burlington Galleries, Christopher Wood, 3rd March – 2nd April 1938, cat. no. 73

London, Crane Kalman, A Selection of British Paintings, 5th December 1972 – 20th January 1973m cat. no. 16 (as Anemones)



Eric Newton, Christopher Wood 1901-1930, Redfern Gallery, London, 1938, cat no. 106


The present work will be included in the forthcoming Christopher Wood catalogue raisonné currently being prepared by Robert Upstone.



Christopher Wood’s jewel-coloured wind flowers seem to surge from the upright picture plane, the graceful simplicity of the design balanced by the swirling, animated surface which throws the bold and vivacious bouquet into dramatic relief. The thick, gestural brushwork, dark outlines and vivid colours, recall Vincent van Gogh’s still life paintings of cut flowers, which were an important influence on Wood from 1924.


Christopher Wood is known to have painted flower-pieces in watercolour from 1921 and in oil from 1922, his early works usually restricted to one variety of cut flower per painting, including Poppies, Roses, Daisies, Mimosa, Dahlias, Tulips, Anemones, Chrysanthemums, Carnations and Irises held in jugs and jars. He later began to represent potted plants such as Cyclamen, Hyacinth, Crocuses and Daffodils, combining flowers and genres including still life, landscape and occasionally nudes. Following his meeting and blossoming friendship with Ben and Winifred Nicholson in 1926, his floral arrangements were sometimes placed before a window looking out onto the landscape of Cornwall or Cumberland.



Poppies in a decorated jar, 1925                Flowers, 1928                                           Anemones in a Cornish window, 1930

Oil on canvas: 61.3 x 51.1 cm             Oil on canvas: 21.5 x 15 cm                Oil on canvas: 40.6 x 48.2 cm

Manchester Art Gallery                        Kettle’s Yard, University of                 Leeds Art Gallery




Flower-pieces by Wood are in the public collections of Leicestershire County Council Artworks Collection; Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge; Newport Museum and Art Gallery; Leeds Museums and Galleries; and Manchester Art Gallery.




Knowsley 1901 – 1930 Salisbury


Christopher Wood was born on 7th April 1901, the first child of the physician, Lucius Wood, and his wife Clare Arthur. He studied architecture briefly at Liverpool University, before travelling to Paris in 1921 at the invitation of Alphonse Kahn, where he studied at the Académie Julian and the Grande Chaumière. Wood met the Chilean Diplomat, Antonio de Gandarillas that summer and became part of his glamorous social circle, frequently travelling and living together. It was most likely through Gandarillas that Wood met and was encouraged by, Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau. In 1926 he met Ben and Winifred Nicholson, with whom he became close friends. At their introduction, he became a member of the Seven and Five Society from 1927–29. Wood stayed with the Nicholsons in Cumbria and Cornwall in 1928, where they met and were inspired by Alfred Wallis. Kit held his first one-man exhibition in London at Arthur Tooth & Sons in April 1929 and the following year exhibited with Ben Nicholson at the Galerie Bernheim in Paris. Having become addicted to opium, Wood died at the age of 29 in a confused state, falling under a train at Salisbury station. The Redfern Gallery staged a comprehensive retrospective of his work in 1938; a selection of his paintings were exhibited at the Venice Biennale that same year.


The work of Christopher Wood is represented in many public collections including the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottowa; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; Brighton & Hove Museums; Bristol Museum and Art Gallery; Falmouth Art Gallery; Manchester City Art Gallery; the National Portrait Gallery, London; Pallant House Gallery, Chichester; Southampton City Art Gallery; Tate Gallery, London; Tyne & Wear Museums and Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge.


Modern BritishChristopher Wood