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William Thomas Wood (1877-1958)


Signed twice, inscribed with title twice and dated 1940 and 1941

Watercolour with bodycolour

18 ¾ x 20 inches

A work entitled 'Dover' was exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1942 as No 125;
'A Century of British Art: 1900-1945', Chris Beetles Gallery, 21 June-17 July 2021, No 186

Given that he had been an official war artist during the First World War, William Thomas Wood must surely have been disappointed when, on 30 May 1940, he failed in his application to provide work to the War Artists Advisory Committee. Nevertheless, he pursued his distinctive vision of war. Having recorded aerial dogfights over Salonika in 1918, he now captured aeroplanes and their trails over Dover, using a square format and a light touch to create a great sense of height and space. Having worked in Dover before the Second World War, and painted Shakespeare’s Cliff in 1937, among other subjects, he was drawn back there as a result of its symbolic quality and strategic position. The other paintings that he produced during the war range from his impressions of London as a member of the Home Guard to pastoral landscapes that suggest what it was that people were fighting for.

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