JOHN NASH, RA NEAC LGBritish 1893 - 1977

The present work depicts Rendlesham Forest, and was executed in Nash’s later life when he was living at Wormingford in Essex. The painting reveals itself to be typical of Nash’s later work, where organic anomalies of landscape become the protagonists of unexpected portraits. Here, a dying fir tree sinuously emerges from a mossy stump and projects above a concealed valley below. The shallow light of the sky suggests that the work was painted either at dawn or early evening, an endurance from Nash’s time spent as an Official War Artist, when he and brother Paul Nash used to paint for their own pleasure only after six o'clock, when their commissioned work was over for the day.

A flower still life is painted on the reverse of the canvas.
Exhibited:
'60 Good Pictures (annual exhibition)', The Phoenix Gallery, Lavenham

JOHN NASH, RA NEAC LGBritish 1893 - 1977

John Nash began his working life as a journalist for a London paper but, encouraged by his brother and fellow artist Paul Nash, he soon turned to watercolour landscapes and comic drawings. Despite not receiving any academic training, Nash exhibited with his brother at the Dorien Leigh Galleries in 1913 and had his first one-man show at the Goupil Gallery in 1921. Nash began to paint in oils in 1914: a decision that was to change the course of his career. After the outbreak of the First World War, he signed up with the Artists' Rifles 1916–18 and became Official War Artist in 1918. Nash's most famous painting of the Great War, Over the Top, now hangs in the Imperial War Museum. Nash later moved to Princes Risborough and taught at the Ruskin School, Oxford, between 1922 and 1927. He taught at the Royal College of Art for nearly twenty years. In 1939, Nash joined the Observer Corps and became Official War Artist again, this time for the Admiralty, in 1940. He was demobilized 1944 and went to live in Essex at Wormingford, near Colchester.

Nash became an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1940 and a full member in 1951. He became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1964. His retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1967 was the first for a living painter.