Mells Manor Pond in the Fields Paul Nash, 1927 Toggle Zoom in Zoom out caption Paul Nash, Pond in the Fields Photo courtesy of Caroline True (All rights reserved) Share-icon Downloads Zoom in Details Country House Mells Manor Title(s) Pond in the Fields Date 1927 Medium and support Oil on canvas Dimensions Overall height: 65 cm, Overall width: 90 cm Artist Paul Nash (1889-1946) Catalogue Number MM84 Description The Surrealist artist, Paul Nash, is known best for his landscapes and his role as an official war artist in the First World War. Nash grew up in Buckinghamshire where he developed a love of the landscape. He entered the Slade School of Art but was poor at figure drawing and concentrated on landscape painting. After the war he continued to focus on landscape painting, originally in a formalised, decorative style but, throughout the 1930s, in an increasingly abstract and surreal manner. Nash found much inspiration in landscapes with elements of ancient history, such as burial mounds, Iron Age hill forts such as Wittenham Clumps in Oxfordshire and the standing stones at Avebury in Wiltshire. In his paintings he often placed everyday objects into a landscape to give them a new identity and symbolism. Lady Frances Horner (1854–1940) was a friend and patron of several of Nash’s circle of friends including Eric Gill and David Jones. In 1927 Nash made illustrations for a volume of poems by Siegfried Sassoon, a close friend of the Horner family.1 This painting was commissioned the same year by Lady Horner and features a group of trees clustered round a dark pond by a wood. The precise location is unknown although, according to Lady Helen Asquith, the previous owner of the picture, it was ‘somewhere in Wiltshire’.2 by Devon Cox Bibliography Margot Eates, Paul Nash: Paintings, Drawings and Illustrations, London : Lund Humphries, 1948, cat. no. 49 Poet & Painter: Being the Correspondence between Gordon Bottomley and Paul Nash, 1910–1946, ed. Claude Colleer Abbott and Anthony Bertram, London : Oxford University Press, 1955, p. 201, n. 1 Andrew Causey, Paul Nash, Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1985, pl. 159, p. 121, cat. no. 544, p. 396 Footnotes Siegfried Sassoon, Nativity, No. 7 of the ‘Ariel’ Poems, London: Faber & Gwyer, 1927, designs and frontispiece by Paul Nash. 1 Raymond Asquith, Earl of Oxford and Asquith, private communication, 17 July 2020. 2 Related catalogue items from Mells Manor Mells Manor George Horner II (1646–1707) circle of John Riley, c.1690–1700 Mells Manor Frances Graham (1854–1940) George Chapman, c.1870 Mells Manor The Wedding Feast at Cana Jacopo Bellini and Workshop?