23 January 2020
John Nash, R.A. (1893-1977)
signed and dated 'John Nash 1919' (lower left), inscribed 'Dunwich' (lower right)
ink, watercolour, pencil and gouache on paper
10 ½ x 15 in. (27 x 38 cm.)
Executed in 1919.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's London, 26 September 1984, lot 220.
with Spink, London, where purchased by the present owner.
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A. Freer, John Nash 'The Delighted Eye', Aldershot, 1993, p. 42, illustrated.
A. Lambirth, John Nash: Artist & Countryman, Norwich, 2019, p. 15, illustrated.
Nash’s characteristic pattern-making here transforms the shingle into leopard skin with blocks of headland like slabs of cheese above. As the subject is Dunwich, famous for its crumbling cliffs, this soft appearance is apt. In fact, All Saints’ Church had been built altogether too near the eroding cliffs, and between 1904 and 1919, it fell into the sea. The last to collapse was the tower in November 1919, and in Nash’s watercolour it is still in place, adjoined by ruined portions of the church walls. This rare painting of figures in the landscape — Nash tended to keep his figure studies for interiors — also has an undertow of wicked humour in that the bathers appear to be naked, which may account for the fact that the ladies in hats and long dresses would seem to have deliberately turned their backs on such immodesty.
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.
Offered on 23 January, a splendid collection of paintings, prints and drawings by Modern British artists including Ivon Hitchens, Winifred Nicholson and John Nash