Paul Nash was a British surrealist painter and war artist, as well as a photographer, writer and designer of applied art. Nash was among the most important landscape artists of the first half of the twentieth century.
Nash studied at the Chelsea Polytechnic, at the London School of Photo-engraving and Lithography, then at the Slade, where he was one of the talented group of les jeunes who would go on to define their generation in art. Nash enlisted in the Artists’ Rifles during WWI; having been sent home injured, he returned to the Western Front as an official war artist. In the 1920s Nash was a leading light in the Society of Wood Engravers. Nash had always been inspired by literature, and was greatly influenced by William Blake. He became a master of illustration, and produced magnificent illustrations for Sir Thomas Browne’s Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus, having been invited to illustrate a book of his choice in 1932. The subjects fitted perfectly with Nash’s love of nature, landscape, and British history.