John Nash was born in London, the younger brother of the painter Paul Nash, who encouraged him to paint; John had no formal training. Although city-born and raised, his themes have always been rural life, showing a tendency towards simplification and the schematisation of nature in quasi-abstract designs. His simplification sometimes suggested naivety, even artlessness, but in conjunction with the unsophisticated subjects that he selected, this often conveyed the charm of country life with particular aptness. During World War I he was appointed an Official War Artist. Between the wars he carried out several commissions for book illustrations - in particular for botanical illustrations. Commissioned again as a war artist in 1939, his work focussed on the tranquillity of the English countryside.
Out of the Wood: British Woodcuts and Wood Engravings 1890 - 1945, The British Council 1991