John Nash: Artist and Countryman
Artist(s): John Nash
Author(s): Andrew Lambirth
Year published: 2019
Publisher: Unicorn Publishing Group
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 256
Illustrations: 200 colour illustrations
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John Nash (1893-1977) is the quintessential 20th century painter of the English countryside, but his remarkable achievement has for too long been overshadowed by the more public persona of his older brother Paul. Yet when we want to summon up an image of an idyllic summer’s day, it is John’s 1919 painting Th e Cornfield that we remember, not one of Paul’s. Nash began as a watercolour painter, and the medium remained his mainstay throughout a long career.
He also worked regularly in oil paint, and his two great World War I paintings, Oppy Wood and Over the Top, both in the Imperial War Museum, are early examples of his success with this very different technique. An immensely skilled draughtsman, Nash turned this linear expertise to good effect in his wood engravings. He also excelled at comic drawing.
A dedicated gardener and plantsman, his botanical studies are of real quality. As Andrew Lambirth remarks, `In Nash’s best work the vision is clear, the eye sharp and the sense ofpictorial design difficult to fault’.