Portrait of James (Jas) Wood: study for Gathering on the terrace at 47 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, 1924
Framed (ref: 38)
Signed and dated, inscribed on the reverse, 'Jas Wood, sketch for "Group", 1924'
Oil on canvas, 22 x 14 in. (56 x 35.5 cm.)
Provenance: Richard and Nancy Carline; Albert Wood, the sitter's grandson
Exhibited: Cookham Festival, The Spencers and Carlines in the 1920s, 1973; Anthony d'Offay, Richard Carline, no. 16
Gathering on the Terrace at 47 Downshire Hill is one of Carline's masterpieces. In the Introduction to his own exhibition (Antony D'Offay Gallery, 1975), Carline recalled:
'In 1921, I decided to attend the Slade under Henry Tonks. About this time, I painted a large family group seated round the dining table at 47 Downshire Hill, in Hampstead. Eddie Marsh bought it for the Contemporary Art Society but, alas, it was destroyed in the Tate Gallery flood. Three years later I painted a still larger family group on the terrace at Downshire Hill with Henry Lamb and Stanley Spencer, who was soon to marry my sister Hilda.'
Gathering on the Terrace at 47 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, was acquired by the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, in 1995. On this occasion, Ann Bukantas, then Keeper of Fine Art wrote: 'Gathering, a beautifully orchestrated group portrait, is one of Carline's most important works, gaining added historical significance from the people it depicts and the nature of their relationships. The setting, 47 Downshire Hill, was the home of the Carline family and in the late 1920s became a popular meeting place for many artists living in Hampstread, who met for sketching and to discuss their artistic aims. Those portrayed, from left to right, are: Stanley Spencer, James (Jas) Wood, Kate Foster, Hilda Carline, Richard Hartley, Henry Lamb, and Anne and Sidney Carline .. Of Gathering Carline has stated he "sought to convey the conflicting personalities gathering at our house".. Sketched from life, each figure, while distinctly part of the group, stands alone as a strong individual, characterised within its own independent portrait' Ann Bukantas, NACF Review, 1995, p. 91.
James Wood (1889-1975) was a painter, writer and aesthete. He lived at 18 Upper Park Road, Hampstead, and was part of the artistic circle of close friends who in the 1920's gathered around the Carlines' home, 47 Downshire Hill. In 1926 he published an autobiography, New World Vistas. He worked equally successfully as a figurative and abstract painter, (see cats. 16 and 70).