Sailing boats were a passion for Wood, and he painted them throughout his short career. They were characteristically the central focus of the composition and seen in broadside, a view which favoured the display of the activities of the crew and the detail of the rigging and equipment. Boat in Harbour was probably painted during Wood's first trip to Brittany in the summer of 1929.
Boat in Harbour, Brittany
79.4 x 108.6 cm
Oil on board
Date of work
Wood’s career took off while he studied drawing at the Académie Julian in 1921. He entered into fashionable artistic circles, meeting the Chilean diplomat Antonio de Gandarillas who introduced him to Picasso, Georges Auric and Jean Cocteau. Although his painting was regarded as charmingly untutored, he learnt from these acquaintances, especially adopting the elegant line of Cocteau's drawings. He exhibited with Ben and Winifred Nicholson at the Beaux Arts Gallery (April-May 1927), becoming close to them personally and artistically. On a trip to St Ives, he and Ben Nicholson encountered the fisherman painter Alfred Wallis, whose work answered a shared interest in 'primitive' expression and helped Wood to establish a personal style.