James Fox TV - Tate online -
11,608. The cardboard paintings of Cornish boats by Alfred Wallis, graceful and tasteful abstractions from Ben Nicholson, and the quirky paintings of harbours by Christopher Wood. (Artists: Wood & Artists: Wallis & Artists: Nicholson) Dr James Fox, The Art of Cornwall
11,609. In a fit of panic he [Wood] threw himself under a train; he was killed at the age of twenty-nine. (Artists & Suicide) ibid.
11,610. Wood painted The Fisherman’s Farewell during this time and it is possible that the painting refers to the actual departure of Ben Nicholson from St Ives in October 1928 (Richard Ingleby, Christopher Wood: An English Painter, London 1995, p197). His portrayal of Nicholson as a fisherman in this painting is a sign of esteem for his friend, linking as it does the other artist to the traditional way of life that Cornwall suggested to them. In December, shortly before leaving Cornwall for London and then Paris, Wood wrote to Winifred Nicholson: ‘I seem to live on the edge of the world. But what a world it is, I love this place and could stay here for ever if I had those around me for whom I care ... [I]t will be hard to leave it.’ (cited Cariou and Tooby p8)
Wood died in tragic circumstances less than two years later. Suffering the effects of opium withdrawal, on 21 August 1930 he threw himself under a train. Tate online