Nest of the Phoenix

Paul NASH: artist

Not On Display

About the work

Paul Nash was a twentieth century British artist who sought to find a way to revitalise English landscape painting. His concern to respond to the poetry of a place, not just superficial resemblances, drew him to sites with a sense of ancient history such as Iron Age hill forts, burial mounds and prehistoric standing stones like those at Stonehenge. Although he saw himself in the tradition of the eighteenth century visionary artists William Blake and Samuel Palmer, he also found inspiration in European modernism, particularly Surrealism, which offered him a way to combine symbolic imagery with the depiction of natural phenomena. In this way he was able to unearth the mystical within the familiar in the English landscape. The repetition of circular motifs in Nest of the Phoenix together with the image of the phoenix and the snake suggests a sense of renewal that connects the contemporary with those ancient landscapes. Nash shared an interest in the expressive possibility of formal shapes with other artists influenced by British Modernism such as Barbara Hepworth and Howard Taylor.
Nest of the Phoenix
Artist/Maker and role
Paul NASH: artist
oil on canvas
87.6 x 83.8 cm (sight)
97.5 x 95.5 cm (framed)
Credit line
Purchased 1977
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the paintings in our collection.