Takisker Bay

by John Northcote Nash


MEDIUM: Watercolour
DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 10 x 12.5 inches (25.4 x 31.8 cm)
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘John Nash’ (lower right)

John Northcote Nash was a British painter of landscapes and still lifes, as well as being a wood engraver and an illustrator. His atmospheric depictions of rural England and Scottish landscapes are highly individual and natural.


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    Catalogue No: 6288 Category: Tags: , , ,

    John Northcote Nash was a British painter of landscapes and still lifes, as well as being a wood engraver and an illustrator. His atmospheric depictions of rural England and Scottish landscapes are highly individual and natural.

    Nash was also fascinated by botany and made many illustrations. His watercolours demonstrate a spontaneous and intuitive response to landscape, something that is sometimes lost in the studio oil paintings. These studies are nevertheless well observed and calculated, often with annotations, reminiscent of the work of Edward Lear. Despite this systematic approach there is a naive quality to his landscapes, embodying a style that is both modern and distinctly English.

    Private collection, United Kingdom

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    Nash avoided formal training on the advise of his mentor and older brother, Paul Nash, who thought it would ruin his brother’s unique vision of the landscape and so encourage him to paint professionally.

    He began his career as a newspaper reporter, but in 1913 he exhibited landscapes with his brother at the Dorien Leigh Galleries, London, and was invited to join The London Group and the Friday Club.

    In 1914 he began painting in oils and the following year joined Harold Gilman in the Cumberland Market Group exhibiting with Gilman, Charles Ginner and Robert Bevan at the Goupil Gallery.

    Despite being underexposed as an artist, partly as a result of his brother’s great success, Nash’ professional credentials were established early, becoming an official war artist in both World Wars.

    Between the wars he lived at Gerrards Cross, with summer expeditions to the Chiltern Hills and Gloucestershire. In 1919 he became a member of the New English Art Club, and in 1920 was a founder member of the Society of Wood Engravers. He also taught at the Ruskin School in Oxford and the Royal College of Art, working on wood engravings and  lithographs. During this period he visited Gower, near Swansea, this was to be the first of many visits to the Pembrokeshire coast and other parts of Wales.

    Following the Second World War, Nash lived in Essex joining the staff of the Royal College of Art in 1945. In 1967 he was elected to the Royal Academy where he was given the first ever retrospective exhibition of a living painter.

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