John Nash RA
A Gloucestershire Landscape 1914

Gallery 44


Focus on the Object

About the Painting

A Gloucestershire Landscape is an early twentieth-century landscape painting set in late summer. The artist has depicted part of a recently harvested cornfield beside a landscape of leafy trees. Overhead strong sunlight is intensified through a gap in darkening clouds, which indicate the onset of a late summer thunderstorm.
A large oak or chestnut tree in the centre dominates the composition. The atmosphere is quietly brooding and the only signs of human presence are the tied-up bundles of harvested corn and in the distance, a break in the fence indicating a footpath, perhaps the route home for the farm labourers.

The date of this painting gives it added meaning and poignancy. It was painted in the summer of the outbreak of World War I. When war broke out on 4 August, Nash was on holiday in the Lake District. Subsequently, he and his brother Paul, also an artist, volunteered as agricultural labourers in Dorset, helping with the harvest.