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John Nash established his reputation as an artist through his depictions of his experiences on the Western Front. Like his brother, Paul, he served as an infantryman in the 1/28th Battalion The London Regiment. But unlike Paul, John Nash was not formally trained as an artist and became an official artist in 1918 only after vigourous canvassing by his brother. His artistic output strongly focused on the experiences and minutiae of trench life, particularly front line routines such as the ritual of dawn and dusk 'stand to'. It is this scene that Nash depicts in Oppy Wood, the two soldiers surveying No Man's Land for enemy activity.The wood has been reduced to a collection of tree stumps and the ground to a mass of flooded shell-holes. The destruction is juxtaposed with the beauty of the untouchable blue sky.

Details

  • Title: Oppy Wood, 1917. Evening
  • Creator: Nash, John (RA)
  • Date Created: 1918
  • Location: Oppy, Pas-de-Calais, France
  • Physical Dimensions: w2133 x h1828 mm (unframed)
  • Provenance: © IWM (Art.IWM ART 2243)
  • Type: painting
  • External Link: Imperial War Museum website
  • Medium: oil

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