This luminous landscape is one of a handful of paintings (along with Behind the Inn, 1919-22, Tate, and Oxenbridge Pond, 1927-28, Birmingham Museums Trust) by Paul Nash that offers a certain resemblance to the work of his younger brother, John Nash. Neither brother relished such comparisons: although they were generally good friends, there was an inevitable degree of sibling rivalry, and each usually followed a separate and distinctive path in art. And although it is usually acknowledged that Paul influenced John, it has not always been recognised that the influence was reciprocal. John Nash’s early confidence and authority as a painter in oils was much envied by Paul, who would emulate his fluency. This late work by Paul stirs echoes of John’s landscapes, while being decidedly less descriptive and more evocative, with that exquisite flutter of soft colour through the treetop foliage and the subtle modulation of the sky. With its pronounced sense of distance and indistinctly feathery arboreal presences, it is a gentler almost wistful version of Paul’s tough late visionary landscapes, and remarkably beguiling.
We are very grateful to Andrew Lambirth for preparing this catalogue entry.