NASH, Paul

Westminster Comment

Date: 1945

Watercolour over pencil, on grey paper, 28cm by 20cm. Signed with initials, inscribed with title and For K on the mount. Framed and glazed. Originally presented to Kenneth Clark as a Christmas card, the front page of which is also included unframed; in this Nash uses the same palette as in the water colour but in addition uses a little collage to create a bleak wintery landscape. Provenance: Sold as lot 49 at Sotheby’s Bond Street as part of The Paintings and Works of Art from the Collections of the late Lord Clark of Saltwood on 27th June 1984. In August 1939 Clark made a proposal to the Ministry of Information to set up a scheme for War Artists. At the same time Nash attempted to set up a rival committee - which irritated Clark, as he told John Betjeman, ‘I wish that Nash would go on painting and repress his insatiable appetite for organisation.’ As James Stourton states in his recent biography of Clark, he easily outmanoeuvred Nash. Clark eventually recruited 36 artists, as Stourton records fees were not generally a problem, except for Nash. Clark had to write to him a long explanatory letter explaining the fees that were to be offered and he became one of the most troublesome artists that Clark had to deal with. He constantly badgered him about the RAF (with whom he had been sent to work) and about money. Clark, however wrote to the Air Ministry, telling them in very strong terms how foolish they were in their criticism of Nash. It must be assumed that Nash eventually came to appreciate the support given by Clark and one of the results was this Christmas gift.

Provenance
Provenance: Sold as lot 49 at Sotheby’s Bond Street as part of The Paintings and Works of Art from the Collections of the late Lord Clark of Saltwood on 27th June 1984.

£8500

Offered by York Modern Books