Paul Nash at Dulwich Picture Gallery

“I began to discover that Swanage was definitely, as the saying is, surrealist” said artist Paul Nash.

The Paul Nash exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery in London has reminders of the artist’s time living on the Dorset coast.

From his thousands of black and white photographs there is ‘Shelter and Stock Pen near Swanage’ 1935. This is near the Priests’ Way with Swanage down below in the background.

From the same year is ‘Old Pier at Swanage’ showing wooden fish boxes and the pier’s floor half up as has so often been seen in recent years.

The catalogue reminds us that Paul Nash and his wife lived on the seafront at 2 The Parade -round the corner from the fish and chip shop.

His painting ‘Event on the Downs’ is always thought to be mysterious and not  a location but Ballard Down is clearly in the background. The picture has hung in the British Embassy in Bonn and for year at 10 Downing Street during Tony Blair’s premiership.

Paul Nash died in July 1946 along the coast at Boscombe where he painted his last picture as he looked across to Honeycombe Chine and a familiar Bournemouth cliff top shelter. This exhibition sadly does not have this work which is in a private collection although curator Fraser Jenkins has traced several unknown works.

Postcards (60p), prints (£9.50) and the catalogue (£25) are on sale at the museum shop.

Paul Nash: The Elements continues Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays until Sunday 9 May; admission £9 (OAP £8; accompanied child free).

See pages 13 and 44.

About Leigh Hatts

Leigh Hatts is an experienced walker and has known the local coastline since childhood. He is the author of many successful walking guides.
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One Response to Paul Nash at Dulwich Picture Gallery

  1. Kevin Beale says:

    I am trying to track down an image of Paul Nash’s last painting. I believe it is called ‘Landscape Study II, Isle of Wight’. I live in what used to be the Florida Hotel, Boscombe (Now Victory Court), and we are trying to display various samples of historic building photos and information in the communal areas, and the Paul Nash story I have so far makes for interesting history for residents and visitors. It would be great to attach an image of his last painting to the story.

    Any help would be appreciated!

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