Reclining Nude (with Nude study on the reverse) (c.1935)
John Northcote Nash RA (1893-1977)
Ink on Paper
In rare period faux tortoiseshell frame
The younger brother of Paul Nash (1889–1946), John Northcote’s work has often been overshadowed. Yet he remains in the highest rank of British 20th century painters, distinguished by being given the first ever retrospective exhibition of a living painter by the Royal Academy.
John and Paul started their careers on a relatively even footing as official artists in the First World War. The crucible of the war however changed them: whereas Paul, quietly forceful and ambitious, became an art-world figure, cultivating possible patrons and deeply involved in the theory and practice of Modernism, John retreated into his love of nature (in particular gardening and fishing). Having avoided formal training on Paul’s advice (though he went on himself to teach at the Oxford Ruskin School of Art and later at the Royal College of Art), John Northcote’s work is both natural and individual. His work stayed close to nature yet stood back from it, retaining a classical refinement and orderliness, embodying a style that is both modern and distinctly English.
Nash was made ARA in 1940 and RA in 1951. He was also appointed a CBE in 1964. Nash’s work can be found in many private and public collections such as the Tate Gallery, the Courtauld Institute of Art and the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco.
This drawing is a study for the work E.03 in Jeremy Greenwood ‘The Wood-engravings of John Nash’, Wood Lea Press, 1987, p.142
John Northcote Nash’s work has been offered at auction multiple times, the record price being 523,395 USD for A Window in Bucks sold at Christie’s, London in 2021.