The Menin Road by Paul Nash NEAC © IWM (Art.IWM ART 2242)

Paul Nash NEAC (1889-1946)


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Paul Nash is one of the New English Art Club's most famous past members. Elected to the club in the 1920s, he was a British surrealist painter and war artist, as well as a photographer, writer and designer of applied art. Nash was among the most important landscape artists of the first half of the twentieth century. He played a key role in the development of Modernism in English art.

Nash was born in London and grew up in Buckinghamshire where he developed a love of the landscape. He entered the Slade School of Art but was poor at figure drawing and concentrated on landscape painting. Nash found much inspiration in landscapes with elements of ancient history, such as burial mounds, Iron Age hill forts such as Wittenham Clumps and the standing stones at Avebury in Wiltshire. The artworks he produced during World War I are among the most iconic images of the conflict. After the war, Nash continued to focus on landscape painting, originally in a formalized, decorative style but, throughout the 1930s, in an increasingly abstract and surreal manner. In his paintings, he often placed everyday objects into a landscape to give them a new identity and symbolism.

During World War II, although sick with the asthmatic condition that would kill him, he produced two series of anthropomorphic depictions of aircraft, before producing a number of landscapes rich in symbolism with an intense mystical quality. These have perhaps become among the best-known works from the period. Nash was also a fine book illustrator and also designed stage scenery, fabrics and posters.

He was the older brother of the artist, John Nash.

This is a short edited version of John Nash's detailed Wikipedia biography that can be found here:

You can also view approx 100 of John Nash's artworks on his ArtUK website page: