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John Nash, R.A. (1893-1977)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
John Nash, R.A. (1893-1977)

The Breakwater

John Nash, R.A. (1893-1977)
The Breakwater
signed 'John Nash' (lower left)
oil on canvas
24 x 30 in. (61 x 76.2 cm.)
Painted circa 1955-65.
Anonymous sale; Christie’s, London, 18 November 1977, lot 210.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London, 19 November 1980, lot 279.
with Sally Hunter Fine Art, London, where purchased by the present owner in the 1980s.
London, Blond Fine Art, Paul Nash and John Nash Oil Paintings and Watercolours, February - March 1978, no. 18.
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Lot Essay

This dramatic composition relies upon the juxtaposition of cliffs and zigzag sea defences for its primary impact. Although the setting is unidentified in Nash’s title, it is possible to speculate about its identity. Nash spent much time in the post-war years exploring the coast and inland areas of East Anglia, easily accessible after he moved to Wormingford in Essex in the mid 1940s, and offering a rich source of potential subjects. He would stay with friends or in a B&B in Suffolk or Norfolk, often with his wife Christine, and then seek out a passage of landscape that appealed. He tended to make drawings, and grisaille or watercolour studies, on the spot, from which he later painted his oils in the studio. The Breakwater is of a highly distinctive design and there are several such structures on the North Norfolk coast. It seems likely therefore that this is a painting of Happisburgh, Hunstanton or Caister, perhaps even Overstrand Beach, near Cromer. (There is a watercolour entitled Incoming Tide, Overstrand, circa 1955, in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool). It can be tentatively dated to 1955-65.

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

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