'Otherworldly' Wood painting bought for Welsh collection

  • 22 August 2011

The National Museum Wales has bought The Rug Seller, a late painting by modern artist Christopher Wood, with help from the Art Fund.

Christopher Wood, The Rug Seller, Tréboul, 1930 © National Museum Wales

Christopher Wood, The Rug Seller, Tréboul, 1930

A key work by Christopher Wood has been bought by the Welsh national collection with help from the Art Fund. The Rug Seller, Tréboul, an otherworldly painting typical of Wood’s ‘primitive’ style, is on view at the recently opened National Museum of Art in Cardiff.

The artist

Christopher Wood (1901–1930) was a major artist in the British modern movement of the 1920s. His ‘naive’ style was influenced by the Parisian avant-garde, including Pablo Picasso and particularly Alfred Wallace, whom he met during his travels in Paris. He produced some of the most important British paintings of the 1920s before his career was cut short by his tragic death at the age of 29.

The painting

A large painting from the peak of Wood’s career, The Rug Seller, Tréboul had been in a Welsh private collection of modern art since 1948. The picture reflects Wood’s engagement with the Celtic culture and people of Brittany. It represents the exotic figure of an African rug seller peddling his wares in the fishing village of Tréboul.

The purchase

The Rug Seller, Tréboul was bought by Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales) for £190,000 from the Brecknock Art Trust with the assistance of £50,000 from the Art Fund. Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said, “Thanks to the support of our members, we’re pleased to have played a part in adding this incredibly charming late work by Christopher Wood to the permanent collection of the National Museum Wales.”

Find out more about The Rug Seller, Tréboul on the Art Funded page.