Paul Nash - Battle of Britain
Oil on canvas, 1941
Image courtesy Imperial War Museum
This is Nash's WW2 masterpiece and was introduced by him as follows:
The painting is an attempt to give the sense of an aerial battle in operation over a wide area and thus summarises England’s great aerial victory over Germany. The scene includes certain elements constant during the Battle of Britain – the river winding from the town and across parched country, down to the sea; beyond, the shores of the Continent; above, the mounting cumulus concentrating at sunset after a hot brilliant day; across the spaces of sky, trails of aeroplanes, smoke tracks of dead or damaged machines falling, floating clouds, parachutes, balloons. Against the approaching twilight new formations of Luftwaffe, threatening.