By: Christopher Wood (1901-1930)
Created: 1927, Collection: Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK Rights: Public Domain
And you thought you'd never wear that Christmas jumper. Wood included the tools of his trade- Why not include whatever your are?
This remarkable painting underlines Christopher Wood’s status as one of the very few English artists afforded serious treatment in 1920s Paris. Born in Knowsley (near Liverpool) in 1901, Wood moved to the French capital at the age of 20. There he studied drawing at the Académie Julian and entered the fashionable artistic circles, associating with the likes of Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau.
When he painted this Self-Portrait, Wood was still attempting to establish a personal style and make his reputation as an artist. These circumstances help to explain the unusually large dimensions of the work (the figure is life-size) and the pose of the painter, which make this a major statement for self-promotion. Wood presents himself as an artist at the heart of the capital of the avant-garde. He records his appearance and the tabletop still-life to his right meticulously, using them as props to build up an impression of his character and status for the viewer.