When Paul Nash was serving with the Hampshire Regiment he worked up his first six sketches which he sent back to his wife in 1917. He was meticulous with his numbering, titles and descriptions of each sketch. When he was back in France and Belgium as an Official War Artist he worked up similar sized sketches on brownish paper. These studies formed the basis for his large oil paintings that can be seen hanging on the walls of the Imperial War Museum. His most well-known works of this period are ‘The Menin Road’ and ‘We are Making a New World’.
Below are a selection of some of these sketches with photos I have taken of the same locations almost 100 years on.
1917. Watercolour, chalk and ink on paper. This sketch provided reference for Paul Nash's oil painting, 'We are Making a New World'.
Inverness Copse no longer exists as a wood. It’s now suburban Ypres.
1917. Watercolour, chalk and ink on paper. Caterpillar Crater near Hill 60.
1917. Watercolour, chalk and ink on paper. Ruins of the church at Mont St Eloi.
1917. A lithograph print. A large water-filled mine crater.
1918. A lithograph print. A straight road lined with tall trees.
The largest exhibition of British First World War art for almost 100 years at The Imperial War Museum is open until 8 March 2015 You will be able to see many of Paul Nash’s paintings here: Visit link