51.1 x 76.5cm stretcher; 67.5 x 93.1 x 7.3cm frame
Throughout his career Paul Nash was fascinated by landscapes but is best remembered for his work as a war artist, serving in the first and second world wars. He was greatly influenced by the European avant-garde styles of abstraction and surrealism and was one of the founding members of the short lived Unit One, a group of painters, sculptors and architects that included Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson, and who helped to revive English art in the interwar years.
'Sunflower and sun' 1942 is one of a series of works inspired by the view from 'Sandlands' on Boars Hill near Oxford overlooking the Bagley Woods and taking in the Wittenham Clumps. Writing in 'Picture History' Nash said 'Thus in the second picture, 'Sunflower and Sun', over a scene of wooded landscape dominated by twin hills, crowned with clumps of dense trees, a shaft of sunlight breaking through the cloud falls across the form of a giant sunflower bowed by the wind. I cannot explain this picture. It means only what it says. Its design was evolved from the actual landscape under much the same atmospheric conditions. There was such a sunflower and some such effect of sunlight. All the elements of this picture were present in more or less degree. But the drama of the event, which implies the mystical association of the sun and the sunflower, is heightened by the two opposing ellipses and by the other echoing forms of the sky which retaliate with the same apparent movement of outspread wings made by the leaves of the flower'.
Contemporary Art Society, London (England, estab. 1910), 1943-1944, London/England, Gift of the Contemporary Art Society, London 1944
Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd (England), Dec 1942, London/England
Ted Gott (Australia) (Author), Laurie Benson (Australia) (Author), Sophie Matthiesson (Australia) (Author), Modern Britain 1900-1960, Melbourne, 2007, 186 (colour illus.), 194 (colour illus.), 195. illustration on pg.186 is a detail
Jemima Montagu (England) (Editor), Paul Nash - modern artist, ancient landscape, Millbank, 2003, 102 (colour illus.). cat.no. 90
Peter Tomory (United Kingdom) (Author), Anne Kirker (New Zealand; Australia, b.1947) (Author), British painting 1800-1990 in Australian and New Zealand public collections, Sydney, 1997, 138. cat.no. 1577
Annabel Davie (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Handbook, Domain, 1988, 55.
Renée Free (Australia) (Author), Art Gallery of New South Wales catalogue of British paintings, Sydney, 1987, 136 (illus.).
Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Editor), Jan Meek (Australia) (Editor), Portrait of a Gallery, Sydney, 1984, 91.
'Artists Choice No.13, Paul Nash: Sunflower and sun' by Colin Lanceley, pg. 370-371, Art and Australia (Vol. 21, No. 3) Autumn 1983, Autumn 1983, 370, 371 (colour illus.).
Andrew Causey (United Kingdom) (Author), Paul Nash, Oxford, 1980, 294, 321, 333, 457, 322 (illus.). cat.no. 1094; plate no. 387
Andrew Causey (United Kingdom) (Author), Clare Colvin (Author), Barry Pearce (Australia) (Author), Paul Nash - photographer and painter, Perth, 1977, 42, 48, 49 (colour illus.). cat.no. 118
Tate Britain (England) (Author), Paul Nash paintings and watercolours, London, 1975, 96 (illus.), 97. cat.no. 197
Margot Eates (United Kingdom) (Author), Paul Nash: the master of the image, 1889-1946, London, 1973, 134.
Editor Unknown (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Domain, 1972, 53 (colour illus.).
Author Unknown, The Adelaide Festival of Arts 1960: Souvenir catalogue of special exhibitions at the National Gallery of South Australia, Unknown, 1960. cat. no. 6
Anthony Bertram (United Kingdom, b.1897, d.1978) (Author), Paul Nash: the portrait of an artist, London, 1955, 299-300.
Digby (Author), Meaning and symbol in three modern artists, 1955, 180-186. plate no. 54
Anthony Bertram (United Kingdom, b.1897, d.1978) (Author), Paul Nash: the portrait of an artist, London, 1955, 290, 298-299.
Sir Herbert Read (United Kingdom, b.1893, d.1968) (Author), Margot Eates (United Kingdom) (Author), Sir John Rothenstein (England, b.1901, d.1992) (Author), E.H. Ramsden (England) (Author), Philip Brutton James (United Kingdom, b.1901, d.1974) (Author), Paul Nash paintings, drawings and illustrations, London, 1948, 10-11. Nash painted numerous paintings with the title 'Sunflower and Sun' and it is not known which one this is refering too.
Robin Ironside (United Kingdom) (Author), Painting since 1939, London, 1947, (illus.). plate no. 8
Sir Herbert Read (United Kingdom, b.1893, d.1968) (Author), Paul Nash, Middlesex, 1944, (colour illus.). plate no. 31
Unknown, Arthur Tooth & Sons, Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd, Dec 1942–Dec 1942.
Unknown, Council for the Enlargement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) Exhibition 1943, Exhibition Venue Unknown, 1943–1943.
Paintings by European masters: Adelaide Festival of Arts 1960, National Gallery of South Australia, 12 Mar 1960–26 Mar 1960.
Paul Nash paintings and watercolours, Plymouth City Art Gallery, 17 Jan 1968–08 Feb 1968.
Paul Nash paintings and watercolours, City of Bradford Art Gallery, 13 Mar 1968–04 Apr 1968.
Paul Nash paintings and watercolours, Manchester City Art Gallery, 10 Apr 1968–02 May 1968.
Paul Nash paintings and watercolours, Tate Britain, 12 Nov 1975–28 Dec 1975.
Paul Nash paintings and watercolours, The Minories, Colchester, 17 Feb 1976–07 Mar 1976.
Paul Nash - photographer and painter, Art Gallery of Western Australia, 04 Feb 1977–27 Feb 1977.
Paul Nash - modern artist, ancient landscape, Tate Liverpool, 23 Jul 2003–19 Oct 2003.
Modern Britain 1900-1960, NGV: International, 15 Nov 2007–24 Feb 2008.