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Christopher Wood

Born 1901 – Died 1930

Christopher ‘Kit’ Wood was born in Knowsley, near Liverpool. Following an injury while playing football, Wood contracted a blood disease and was nursed at home by his mother, who encouraged him to take up watercolour painting. Although he had no formal training, he went to Paris in 1921 with the ambition of becoming ‘the greatest painter that ever lived.’ Soon establishing himself as a prominent and popular figure among the artistic and social circles of the 1920s Parisian avant-garde, he mingled with aristocrats and won the admiration of Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau. During these years, he also travelled to Europe and North Africa with José Antonio de Gandarillas, a diplomat at the Chilean embassy in Paris.

Wood was one of very few British artists to have a solo exhibition in Paris at that time and was commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev to design the sets for his Ballets Russes production of the ballet Romeo and Juliet. In Britain, Wood was a member of the Seven and Five Group and developed a close and mutually inspiring relationship with Ben and Winifred Nicholson. In 1930, he travelled to the French coastal town of Tréboul where he painted more than 40 works in less than six weeks. On his return to England, he was tragically killed by a train at Salisbury station after an opium-induced psychotic episode, aged 29. Devastated by the untimely death of his friend, Jim Ede organised a memorial exhibition for Wood in 1932 and continued to promote his legacy for the rest of his life. The work of Wood, which includes landscapes, portraits, floral compositions and harbour scenes painted in a vibrant and experimental style, was fundamental in shaping Ede’s artistic vision.

Christopher Wood, Self-Portrait, 1927



Self-Portrait, 1927

Christopher Wood

Self-Portrait Find out more


Building the Boat, Tréboul, 1930

Christopher Wood

Building the Boat, Tréboul Find out more


Flowers, 1930

Christopher Wood

Flowers Find out more


Boy with Cat (Jean Bourgoint), 1926

Christopher Wood

Boy with Cat (Jean Bourgoint) Find out more


‘Flowers’ (1930) with Andrew Nairne


Christopher Wood-Inspired Knitwear

Curatorial Assistant Meg Breckell tells us more about her recent knitting project, inspired by Christopher Wood.

Christopher Wood-Inspired Knitwear Read more

Alfred Wallis and Christopher Wood: A Meeting on Canvas

Find out more about this unique painting which is the work of Christopher Wood and Alfred Wallis.

Alfred Wallis and Christopher Wood: A Meeting on Canvas Read more

New Acquisition: Christopher Wood ‘The Play Ground’ (1928)

We are delighted to share a new acquisition to the Kettle’s Yard collection: The Play Ground (1928) by Christopher Wood.

New Acquisition: Christopher Wood ‘The Play Ground’ (1928) Read more

Meet the Maker: Just Trade

We spoke to Laura Cave, founder of Just Trade about their products available in the Kettle’s Yard shop. Click here to browse Just Trade.

Meet the Maker: Just Trade Read more