Christopher Wood (British, 1901-1930) Girl and Lamp in a Cornish Window 46 x 55 cm. (18 x 22 in.)

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 22
Christopher Wood
(British, 1901-1930)
Girl and Lamp in a Cornish Window 46 x 55 cm. (18 x 22 in.)

Sold for £ 50,400 (US$ 64,280) inc. premium
Christopher Wood (British, 1901-1930)
Girl and Lamp in a Cornish Window
oil on board
46 x 55 cm. (18 x 22 in.)
Painted in 1928

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    With The Redfern Gallery, London, where purchased by
    Dr. P.B. Hughes, 24 October 1952
    Thence by descent

    EXHIBITED:
    London, The Redfern Gallery, Christopher Wood, 7 April-30 April 1938, no.8
    London, New Burlington Galleries, Christopher Wood, Exhibition of Complete Works, 3 March-2 April, 1938, no.94
    London, The Redfern Gallery, Oils and Watercolours by Christopher Wood, 14 March-6 April 1946, no.49
    London, The Redfern Gallery, Christopher Wood 1901-1930, 8 May-28 June 1947, no.46

    LITERATURE:
    Eric Newton, Christopher Wood, The Redfern Gallery, London, 1938, p.70, no.261

    Girl and Lamp in a Cornish Window belongs to a body of work which Christopher Wood completed in St Ives during the Autumn of 1928. He had moved to Cornwall, instead of returning to Paris, to join Ben and Winifred Nicholson who had located themselves, albeit briefly, in St Freok. From here, The Nicholsons and Wood moved to St.Ives after their discovery of Alfred Wallis and Ben's problems with asthma. Furthermore, Woods new Russian émigrée mistress, Frosca Munster had arranged to move to St Ives and the two rented Meadow Cottage together, overlooking Porthmeor Beach. Almost certainly, this is the location of Girl and Lamp in a Cornish Window. Interestingly, the sitter in the present lot is not named in the title. The fact that she is labelled as a 'Girl' could possibly indicate her identity to be 'Annie', the daughter of a fisherman who lived next door to the artist. Richard Ingleby, in his biography of Wood comments on their relationship, 'He had made the mistake of taking her to the cinema "...because I hate to go alone and since then have rather regretted starting what may seem to her a romance, but which to me means imprisonment in this house"' (Richard Ingleby, Christopher Wood, An English Painter, Allison & Busby, London, 1995, p.198). Whatever her identity, she appears head-on, dominating much of the composition at the front of the picture plane, in a similar way as the faces are depicted in The Fisherman's Farewell (Collection Tate Gallery) and Fisherman in a Cap (Private Collection), also key works from the Autumn of 1928. During this time Wood was approaching his work with enthusiasm and which has since been regarded by critics as a turning point in his career. The artist himself wrote to his mother, 'I feel my things are becoming really vital and student-ship has passed, my work is forming something quite personal and sure and unlike anyone else's and I don't think anyone can paint the pictures I am doing' (ibid, p.198).

    The exact same viewpoint used in Girl and Lamp in a Cornish Window was rendered by Wood in another impressive painting of the period as he explored the contrast between the blustery weather over the sea outside his cottage and the serenity of the interior. The picture is Cornish Window (formerly collection of Stanley J. Seeger), which incorporates the same decorative oil lamp, the prominent object in both paintings, but replaces the singular comb on the ledge with various fireworks, indicating both works were produced in the late October or early November of 1928. Ingleby applaudes this juxtaposition of mood:

    'Nowhere is this more obvious than in the pictures that he painted looking out of the little window of his house on Porthmeor Beach. Inside the world is calm, restful even, but outside there is the glimpse of a storm: a curdling, frothing sea painted black and white against the blue. The window is, of course, an old fashioned framing device, which he had used often before, but it also gives the viewer a feeling of being on the right side and it is this that makes these pictures so satisfying.' (Ibid, p.199).

    By December Christopher Wood had departed Cornwall (he would return briefly in March 1930), but the three months spent there were highly productive. They were also instrumental in encouraging Wood to seek out new and inspiring coastal towns such as Tréboul and Dieppe during the final two years of his tragically short life.
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £2,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £3,000,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.