PAUL NASH (1889-1946)
PAUL NASH (1889-1946)
PAUL NASH (1889-1946)
PAUL NASH (1889-1946)
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PAUL NASH (1889-1946)

The Severn Bore near Pimlico Sands

Details
PAUL NASH (1889-1946)
The Severn Bore near Pimlico Sands
signed 'Paul Nash' (lower left), inscribed 'The Severn Bore near Pimlico Sands' (on the reverse)
pencil and watercolour on paper
11 x 15 3⁄4 in. (27.9 x 40 cm.)
Executed in 1938.
Provenance
Purchased at the 1938 exhibition by Hon. W. Jolliffe.
Acquired from Thomas Agnew & Sons, London in June 2004.
Literature
A. Bertram, Paul Nash: The Portrait of an Artist, London, 1955, p. 246.
M. Eates, Paul Nash: The Master of the Image 1889-1946, London, 1973, p. 130.
A. Causey, Paul Nash, Oxford, 1980, p. 443, no. 949, pl. 359.
E. Chambers (ed.), exhibition catalogue, Paul Nash, London, Tate Britain, p. 151, no. 121, illustrated.
Exhibited
London, Arthur Tooth & Sons, Painting and Watercolours by Paul Nash, December 1938, no. 12.
London, Thomas Agnew & Sons, From Sickert to Sutherland: A Selection of Modern British Drawings 1910-60, June - July 2004, no. 59, catalogue not traced.
London, Tate Britain, Paul Nash, October 2016 - March 2017, no. 121.

Brought to you by

Amelia Walker
Amelia Walker Director, Specialist Head of Private Collections

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Lot Essay


There is another watercolour of The Severn associated with this one, a simpler composition, which, with the present work, was the source of Nash’s visionary oil, Monster Shore, 1939. Note the way the artist has reinterpreted the river, sands and sky in a series of long horizontals, with the line of the hills echoing through each of the three. The Severn Bore near Pimlico Sands is an altogether darker work, foregrounded by the sawn-off stump of a tree (an acknowledged Nash symbol of death), which reappears in Monster Shore. For Nash, there was something sinister about the untamed power of the bore, the dramatic surge wave created by the rising tide in the Bristol Channel and the Severn Estuary. The use of repeated horizontal lines, a strategy of pictorial construction he favoured, is reminiscent of the Dymchurch paintings from the 1920s, and such early masterpieces as The Shore, 1923, Leeds Art Gallery, and Winter Sea, 1925-37, in York Art Gallery. The insistent rhythms of land and water which forge across it make this elegantly and crisply expressed watercolour a powerful statement of elemental forces.

We are very grateful to Andrew Lambirth for preparing this catalogue entry.

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