Sunday, 31 July 2011

'Paul Nash in Pictures: Landscape and Dream'

Paul Nash, Event on the Downs, 1934-5

Paul Nash in Pictures: Landscape and Dream celebrates the life and work of Paul Nash (1889-1946), an artist of energy and vision who created iconic paintings of both world wars and explored in inimitable style the ideas and issues of the interwar years. After a period of neglect following his death, Nash’s reputation is in the ascendant again, but though we appreciate the quality of his paintings, we have perhaps lost sight of their humanity.

Bringing a fresh eye to the artist’s legacy, Paul Nash in Pictures: Landscape and Dream goes behind the scenes of twenty-two paintings to explore Nash’s life, the places and people he knew, and the times in which he lived. The book draws on diverse sources, from published books to correspondence, to create an intimate portrait of a passionate, funny, supremely imaginative artist.

This approach will be familiar to readers of the Ravilious in Pictures series published by the Mainstone Press, and the book has been produced in a similar style and with the same attention to detail. In this, the first of two proposed books on Nash, we focus on the artist’s oil paintings – the work in which he explored most thoroughly the ideas that preoccupied him. Well-known paintings like ‘The Battle of Britain’ are included alongside pictures that are reproduced for the first time. A second volume will address the artist’s watercolours, so that the two books together form a unique biography of Paul Nash – a life in pictures.

Paul Nash in Pictures: Landscape and Dream will be published by The Mainstone Press in October 2011. James Russell is available for talks and book signings. Please contact the publisher for details.

What the critics say about Ravilious in Pictures:

‘Beautiful’ (Stella magazine, Sunday Telegraph, Dec 2009)
‘Ravilious’s watercolour landscapes of the South Downs … are beautifully reproduced here 
alongside insightful essays…’ (London Review of Books, Jan 2010)
 ‘James Russell’s writing has the clarity and concision of the paintings, and is both properly informative and enjoyably readable... Glorious.’ (Andrew Lambirth, The Art Newspaper, Sept 2010)
‘A vivid portrait of the artist’ (Country Life magazine, Dec 2010)
‘Fantastic’ (Emily Rhodes, The Spectator Arts Blog, Dec 2010)
‘Alluring… convivial…’(Paul Laity, The Guardian, May 2011)


  1. Dear James I have just discovered your blog - I shall get the Ravilious book and look forward tot he Nash book. Having grown up at Abingdon, from childhood I have known Whittenham Clumps and this occur so often in Nash's work. Although I live in Northamptonshire now, they are an abiding image in memory.

  2. Thanks Ian - Nash called the Wittenham Clumps 'the pyramids of my small world'...

  3. Hi James,

    Both your Ravilious book and the forthcoming book on Paul Nash are going on my Christmas list.

    I am finding Paul Nash's paintings a revelation at the moment and they seem to complement perfectly my current obsession with landscape and place. It's exciting knowing all the pieces of work I have yet to discover, I can't wait.

    Might have to bring Christmas forward thinking about it....

  4. Very kind, Mr Loci... There's a huge amount of Nash's work that never sees the light of day - The Causey biography from the 80s has everything in it, pretty much, though not all pics are reproduced. The illustrations are OK but not great in the case of watercolours, which are exquisite in person, so to speak

  5. Great blog - came here from recommendation by Genius Loci.

    So much to say about this and other posts, but it will have to wait. Agree though, that painting isn't dead - as relevant now as ever I'd say and not just with the public stars; there is still a huge amount of exciting contemporary painting taking place somewhat covertly and no longer very concerned with the London galleries.

  6. Does the book contain the painting Making A New World? That's one of my favourites.

  7. Yes it does, Nicola - you'll find quite a few favourites alongside two or three paintings that haven't been reproduced before... Thanks for your interest!