Europe, United Kingdom, England
76.5 x 101.5 cm
Nocturnal Landscape 1938
Paul Nash 1889 - 1946
Oil on canvas
Predatory giant fossils haunt a moonlit countryside
where ancient stones shift to new resting places
and grids impose themselves on nothingness.
Nash's traditional English landscapes mutated
as he drew on the unconscious mind for inspiration
under the influence of continental Surrealism.
Nash found stones, bones and fossils on walks.
He took them home and photographed them in groups
instead of making preparatory sketches for paintings.
This practice, combined with his experience
of painting a very real decimated landscape
during the First World War, as an Official War Artist,
might account for this dislocated vision,
a scene that seems half dream, half nightmare.