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Paul Nash (1889-1946)
The Corner, 1919

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Painted in 1919 The Corner marks a critical time in Nash’s career. At the start of the year he was finishing his large scale commission for the Ministry of Information, The Menin Road (now in the collection of Imperial War Museum).  In the immediate post-war period Nash returned to paint a subject with which he felt a great connection, the English landscape. The Corner was painted during a visit to the village of Whiteleaf, near Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, that Nash made with his wife, Margaret and his brother, the artist John Nash RA (1893-1977). 

Nash felt a great affinity with trees, writing in 1912: ‘I have tried to paint as tho’ they were human beings … because I sincerely love & worship trees & know that they are people & wonderfully beautiful people.’

Image (right): Paul Nash, The Corner, 1919, Jerwood Collection © Tate, 2016 

Medium

pencil, watercolour and chalk on paper

Dimensions

55 x 40 cm

Provenance

John Nash, RA.
The Redfern Gallery, London, 1963 as 'Elms over a terrace'.
David Bathurst Esq (former Chairman of Christie's).
Hamet Gallery, London, 1970 as 'Elms over a terrace'.
Mr and Mrs F Shaw.
Anonymous sale; Mallams, Oxford, 10 December 2015, lot 500, where purchased.

Exhibited

London, 9 Fitzroy Street, Paul Nash: Drawings, November - December 1919, no. 29.
London, NEAC, January 1920, no. 166.
London, Redfern Gallery, French and English drawings and watercolours, February - March 1963, no. 323.
London, Camden Arts Centre, The English Landscape Tradition in the 20th century, January - February 1969, no. 57.
London, New Grafton Galleries, October 1969, unnumbered.
London, Hamet Gallery, Paul Nash (1889-1946), March – April 1970, no. 8.

Literature

A. Bertram, Paul Nash, London, 1923, p. 134, pl. 14.
M. Eates, Paul Nash: The Master of the Image, London, 1973, pp. 29 and 114.
A. Causey, Paul Nash, Oxford, 1980, p. 368, no. 246, pl. 428.

Born in London, Paul Nash grew up in Buckinghamshire. He studied at Chelsea Polytechnic (1906-07), London County Council School evening classes (1908-10) and at the Slade School of Art, London (1910-11). His first solo exhibition was at the Carfax Gallery in London (1912). During the First World War Nash served with the Artists’ Rifles (1914-17) and he was appointed Official War Artist. After the War Nash lived with his wife, Margaret in Dymchurch, Kent (1921-25) and he later lived in or near Rye (1925-33). Nash founded Unit One in 1933 and exhibited at the International Surrealist Exhibitions in London (1936) and Paris (1938). During the Second World War he was appointed Official War Artist to the Air Ministry (1940) and to the Ministry of Information (1941-45). 

His work has been exhibited widely and major shows include: Memorial Exhibition, Tate, London (1948); Paintings and Watercolours, Tate, London (1975); and The Elements, Dulwich Picture Gallery (2010).  A major exhibition of Nash’s work is currently on at Tate Britain (until 5 March 2017).