Tom Nash (1891-1968)

Moses striking the Rock

signed and dated lower right Tom Nash 1924, oil on canvas
59½ x 39½in. (151 x 100.5cm.)
Dr. Osmund Frank, Maidenhead

Lot Essay

Nash first met Stanley Spencer, his exact contemporary, at the Slade in London in 1912. He was undoubtedly influenced by his friendship with Spencer who commented that Nash walked about with a Bible in one hand and 'my ideas' in the other. Charles Tracy (Paintings and Drawing by Tom Nash, Reading Art Gallery Exhibition Catalogue, 1979, p.2) comments that 'Nash's artistic manifestations of subjects from both the New and Old Testaments are self conscious reconstructions of the events in a generalised contemporary English setting...Whether or not Nash was a religious man, his treatment of sacred subjects is suffused with a powerful religious instinct... We know of only three religious works on a larger scale... 'Sermon on the Mount', 'Crucifixion', 1928, and 'Moses striking the Rock', possibly his best painting'... 'Moses striking the Rock'...the earliest of the three contains all the concentration of his small scale religious painting as well as a dynamic tension and explosive movement not represented in many of the religious subjects which have survived. This is a major work of the Modern British School'.

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