John Moody (1906 - 1993)

The Lighthouse, Anvil Point, Swanage, 14 August 1926

SKU: 4697

Signed and inscribed on reverse, 14 Aug/26 The Lighthouse, Anvil Point, Swanage 

Oil on panel, 6 1/2 x 8 3/4 in. (16 x 22 cm.)

Height – 16cm
Width – 22cm



John Moody’s formative 1926 painting tour, which took in both sides of
the Channel, was undertaken at crucial point in his early career. He
was 20 in 1926 and though determined to pursue his passion as an artist
he was financially vulnerable. A letter from a family friend in
December 1926 cautions him on life as an artist: “I am very interested
in seeing that you have taken up lettering and I congratulate you on
your success. I think you have done a wise and practical thing in taking
up commercial art, but it would be a pity if you did nothing else. At
the start I am afraid you can’t live on doing work that will live, but
you may live on doing work that will not live.”

By 1930 Jack, as a founder member of the New Kingston Group, was
exhibiting work around the country and in 1931 was teaching Architecture
and Perspective at the Wimbledon School of Art. Facing penury however
he enrolled as a singer at the Webber Douglas School of Singing which
was to draw him inexorably into theatre life – and eventually into the
world of opera, for which he is best remembered. He never lost his love
of painting.

The extraordinary series which resulted from his 1926 painting spree
were motivated by an interest in light – huge skies, seascapes, white
cliffs and rolling sand dunes. Two years later his Knocke series, on
the Belgian coast, retain similar characteristics whilst adopting a
slightly surreal imagery.

We are grateful to Richard Thompson for the above catalogue note.

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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