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Though in Brittany, this scene is similar to many works painted by Wood in Cornwall. Towards the end of his short life, Wood spent periods working in both places in pursuit of a ‘naïve’ style of painting. In 1928 he visited Cornwall with his friends Ben and Winifred Nicholson. In St Ives the two men came across Alfred Wallis, whose ‘primitive’, child-like paintings made a deep impression on their subsequent work. For them, adopting Wallis’s instinctive style allowed them to reject the artificiality of established painting for a more authentic mode of expression.

July 2007