Watercolour on paper, c.1945 – printed to original size.
This, in many ways, is quintessential Nash – as too, it is so recognisably the English countryside. Although two of Nash’s most famous masterpieces were done in oil – his Oppy Wood and Over the Top – Nash preferred watercolour. Watercolour has a gentleness and a reticence of tone, and allows for careful understatement. Not only were these qualities expressive of Nash’s own character, they are uniquely suited in the portrayal of an English countryside muted in colour and tone, and damp as the watercolour pigments themselves.
In this print the year is young, buds are still unfurled and the clod of the ploughed field is saturated with winter’s moisture. Yet the sun casts a shadow, and the promise of Spring seems palpably detectable in the air.