Paul Nash: Landscape From A Dream


I’ve never warmed to Paul Nash’s dabblings with surrealism, except for this genuinely strange painting. ‘Landscape From A Dream’ looks exactly that. Painted in the late 1930’s, shortly before the outbreak of World War 2, it has something of an omen about it, from the blood red sunset in the ‘mirror’, to the weird balls that suggest Barnes Wallace’s bouncing bombs, to the bleak beachhead in the distance that foreshadows the D-Day landings. The bird regarding itself in the mirror calls to mind the ancient egyptian sky god Horus and also the first passage from W.B. Yeats’ ‘The Second Coming’, where the falcon cannot hear the falconer and the blood-dimmed tide is loosed. All in all a very strange work, that has lost none of its power over time.


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