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Nash, Paul
Rain, Lake Zillebeke Rain, Lake Zillebeke
1917 1917

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. Here, he offers a scene of small-scale soldiers overwhelmed by the horrible landscape of war.

Zillebeke Lake is located southeast of Ypres and was the site of unceasing German artillery fire. In September 1917, one of the officers stationed in the region came upon a discarded boat. In subsequent months, whenever the German fire would grow to overwhelming proportions, the officer would fill the boat with gunners and row out into the middle of the lake until the onslaught was over. The shimmering lake in the background is a distant and temporary haven in this scene.

Referring to the scratched and scored lines visible in this print, Paul Gough has called Nash’s lithographs of 1917 as embodying a ‘new calligraphy of war’, one in which empty and incessant violence has overthrown the heroism of past conflicts.

 
Nash, Paul
London, England 1889-Boscombe, England 1946 London, England 1889-Boscombe, England 1946
Rain, Lake Zillebeke Rain, Lake Zillebeke
1917 1917
Lithograph on paper Lithograph on paper
25.5 x 36.2 cm
Gift of Simon and Caroline Davis, 2018 Gift of Simon and Caroline Davis, 2018
61-002.01

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