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Nash, Paul
German Double Pill Box, Gheluvelt German Double Pill Box, Gheluvelt
1918 1918

Paul Nash trained at the Slade School of Fine Art in 1910, where his strength was landscape and the depiction of nature. Rather than capturing the machinery of war like many of his contemporaries, Nash remained faithful to landscape, opting to present images of wasted nature to the public. He here recalls the work of Poussin, with a powerful repoussoir to evoke a sense of depth.

This image of a pill box, or guard post, communicates the violence of an earlier attack: the masonry is broken, the tree is decapitated, and shell-bursts litter the ground. Gheluvelt was the first air battle between the British and the Germans and resulted in the defeat of the latter.

Reflecting upon his wartime experiences, he wrote “It is unspeakable, godless, hopeless. I am no longer an artist interested and curious, I am a messenger who will bring back word from the men who are fighting to those who want the war to go on forever. Feeble, inarticulate, will be my message, but it will have a bitter truth, and may it burn their lousy souls.”

 
Nash, Paul
London, England 1889-Boscombe, England 1946 London, England 1889-Boscombe, England 1946
German Double Pill Box, Gheluvelt German Double Pill Box, Gheluvelt
1918 1918
Lithograph on paper Lithograph on paper
20.7 x 38.4 cm
Gift of Simon and Caroline Davis, 2017 Gift of Simon and Caroline Davis, 2017
60-014.04

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