John Moody (1906 - 1993)

Margaret Sewell, 1927


SKU: 9419
Egg Tempera on board.

Height – 20.9cm
Width – 15.2cm

1 in stock


The Artist’s Estate
Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.120.

Margaret Ley, a talented miniaturist, and William Sewell, a talented artist and book illustrator, first met when students at Herkomer’s Art School. In this poignant portrait of 1927, John Moody expresses the grief felt by Margaret on the tenth anniversary of her husband William’s death – he died in 1917, aged 41, at the battle of Arras.  Still in mourning, she holds in her hand a species of the Cardamine plant, known for its healing properties for heart ailments.  

Born in 1906 Moody had been too young to participate in the war, but suffered its consequences. His poignant woodcut, War, produced in 1928,  sums up his sense of the futility of war and and antagonism towards the ‘old order’ which had condemned so many to a needless death. 

As such he was expressing the mood of his generation. 

We are grateful to Richard Thompson for assistance.

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John Moody
1906 - 1993

After training at the Royal Academy Schools and working from a studio offered to him by Eric Ravilious (1903 – 1942) and Edward Bawden (1903 – 1989), by the 1930’s, Moody was exhibiting at a variety of London venues and teaching at Wimbledon School of Art; he also became a founder member of the New Kingston Group of painters.  Fascinated by the Theatre he was later well known as an opera producer, commissioning stage sets from John Piper and Robert Medley. 


John Moody (1906 - 1993)
Portrait of Phillada Sewell, mid 1920’s
John Moody (1906 - 1993)
Brunswick Square
John Moody (1906 - 1993)
Portrait of Anita Kowalska
John Moody (1906 - 1993)
Ploughing, 1929
John Moody (1906 - 1993)
Margaret Sewell, 1927
John Moody (1906 - 1993)
Houlgate, Normandy, 1926
John Moody (1906 - 1993)
The Lighthouse, Anvil Point, Swanage, 14 August 1926