Thursday, May 27, 2010

John Nash

I found a book today called Men and the Fields by Adrian Bell, published in 1939, with lithographs by Paul Nash's younger brother, John. These illustrations may not have the visionary genius of Nash Major, but they are an important relic of a movement that included the wonderful Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden.

These artists reclaimed the English countryside from the platitudes of lesser artists and their vision of the pastoral is a more challenging one, imbued with a mysticism that harkens back to William Blake.

On the subject of platitudes, that's enough amateur art criticism from me. Enjoy John Nash:





8 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Serenity -- in the pastoral sense. Lovely. -- barbara

on site said...

I've been trying to think why these look so 30s-ish. The subject is dead centre in each, and then everything that actually, physically, touches the subject is included, but almost nothing beyond that, so they have a kind of Bewick's Birds look. It is an anti-photographic view: not everything is equally important, as photographs insist, right out to the frame.
There is also a self-conscious sense of the 'vignette', as if Nash, the other Nash, Bawden, Ravilious et al knew that such scenes were fading fast. Like Sackville-West's The Land: get it all down as we know its days are numbered.
Evocative, nostalgic, deceptively innocent.

Lucille said...

Have just re-read Corduroy and would have scooped this book up in an instant if I'd seen it anywhere. What a great find. So true about a way of life in vignette.

Milton said...

Luvly, I'm in a rather laid-back kittenish state.

Milt x

Thomas at My Porch said...

I love these images. I didn't know about John Nash.

dshane said...

I have a small book on John Nash (The Delighted Eye), but these are not included. Thanks for uploading!

Steerforth said...

Glad you like them. I like being able to get these images out into the public domain, partly when they come from a book that was destined to be thrown away.

Resolute Reader said...

Men and the Fields has recently been republished with a new introduction by Adrian Bell's son, the former journalist Martin Bell. It's a lovely book and not just for Nash's paintings.

My review is here:

http://resolutereader.blogspot.com/2012/03/adrian-bell-men-and-fields.html