Nash, Paul (1889-1946), 'Avebury - Landscape of the Megaliths', Lithograph, 1937

'Avebury - Landscape of the Megaliths', Lithograph, 1937

Signed by the artist in pencil lower right. Published by Contemporary Lithographs Ltd., London.

In 1935 Nash visited Avebury and recorded the following in his journal:
‘Last summer I walked in a field near Avebury where two rough monoliths stand up, sixteen feet high, miraculously patterned with black and orange lichen, remains of an avenue of stones which led to the Great Circle. A mile away, a green pyramid casts a gigantic shadow. In the hedge, at hand, the white trumpet of a convolvulus turns from its spiral stem, following the sun. In my art I would solve such an equation.’

His lithograph depicting the great ancient structure is the bridge between romantic and surrealist art of the 1930s. Looking like a desert landscape by Dali the monoliths are both alien and familiar as Nash notes in the quote above.

Nash goes on to say:
‘It is odd to consider that in my design I, too, have tried to restore the Avenue. The reconstruction is quite unreliable, it is wholly out of scale, the landscape is geographically and agriculturally unsound. The stones seem to be moving rather than to be deep-rooted in the earth. And yet archaeologists have confessed that the picture is a true reconstruction because in it Avebury seems to revive.’

Image Size 51 x 76 cm
Paper Size 58.5 x 84 cm
Collections Arts Council; Victoria and Albert Museum.

You may also be interested in these artists

Sutherland, Graham (1903-1980)

Nevinson, C.R.W. (1889-1946)

Wadsworth, Edward (1889-1949)

Ravilious, Eric (1903-1942)