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VIEW OF ANTIBES
CHRISTOPHER RICHARD WYNNE NEVINSON (1889 - 1946)
Oil on panel 16 x 11 ¾ inches
Signed Labels verso
Nevinson was a British figure and landscape painter, etcher and lithographer. He is often referred to by his initials C. R. W. Nevinson, and was known as Richard.
Richard Nevinson, one of the most famous war artists, was born on 13 August 1889, the son of the war correspondent and journalist Henry Nevinson and the suffrage campaigner and writer Margaret Nevinson. Educated at Uppingham School, Nevinson went on to study at St John's Wood School of Art. Inspired by seeing the work of Augustus John, he decided to attend the Slade School of Art. There his contemporaries included Mark Gertler, Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash and Dora Carrington. Gertler was, for a time, his closest friend and influence, and they formed for a short while a group known as the Neo-Primitives, being deeply influenced by the art of the early Renaissance. Whilst at the Slade, Nevinson was advised by his Professor of Drawing, Henry Tonks, to abandon thoughts of an artistic career.
On leaving the Slade, Nevinson befriended Marinetti, the leader of the Italian Futurists, and the radical writer and artist Percy Wyndham Lewis, who founded the short-lived Rebel Art Centre, whose members included Edward Wadsworth and Ezra Pound. However, Nevinson fell out with Lewis and the other 'rebel' artists when he attached their names to the Futurist movement. At the outbreak of World War I, Nevinson joined the Friends' Ambulance Unit with his father, and was deeply disturbed by his work tending wounded French soldiers. For a brief period he served as a volunteer ambulance driver (Nov 1914 to Jan 1915) before ill health soon forced his return to Britain. He used these experiences as the subject matter for a series of powerful paintings which used Futurist techniques to great effect. His fellow artist Walter Sickert wrote at the time that Nevinson's painting 'La Mitrailleuse' (now in the Tate collection) 'will probably remain the most authoritative and concentrated utterance on the war in the history of painting.' Subsequently Nevinson volunteered for home service with the Royal Army Medical Corps, before being invalided out; he was eventually appointed as an official war artist, though his later paintings, based on a short visit to the Western Front, lacked the same powerful effect as those earlier works which had helped to make him one of the most famous young artists working in England. By 1917, Nevinson was no longer finding Modernist styles adequate for describing the horrors of modern war. "Paths of Glory," depicting two fallen British soldiers in a field of mud and barbed wire, is typical of his later war paintings. He exhibited his work widely in London, including 85 at the New English Arts Club; 48 at the Royal Society of British Artists and 18 at the Royal Academy. A large collection of his work can be found in the Imperial War Museum in London.
Shortly after the end of the war, Nevinson travelled to the United States of America, where he painted a number of powerful images of New York.
Nevinson was credited with holding the first Cocktail Party in Britain in 1924 by Alec Waugh.
Bibl: British Artists 1880 – 1840
Provenance: Leicester Galleries, London May 1947 then Mrs Davis
|Height||16.00 inch||(40.64 cm)|
|Width||11.75 inch||(29.84 cm)|
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