Subject: Art & Design
Related ACE Cultural Tours: A Journey Through the Great War
To enable the restoration of Paul Nash’s The Menin Road
Label from IWM
Nash received the commission for this work, which was orginally to have been called ‘A Flanders Battlefield’, from the Ministry of Information in April 1918. It was to feature in a Hall of Remembrance devoted to ‘fighting subjects, home subjects and the war at sea and in the air’. The centre of the scheme was to be a coherent series of paintings based on the dimensions of Uccello’s ‘Battle of San Romano’ in the National Gallery (72 x 125 inches), this size being considered suitable for a commemorative battle painting. While the commissions included some of the most avant-garde British artists of the time, the British War Memorials Committee advisors saw the scheme as firmly within the tradition of European art commissioning, looking to models from the Renaissance. It was intended that both the art and the setting would celebrate national ideals of heroism and sacrifice. However, the Hall of Remembrance was never built and the work was given to the Imperial War Museum. Nash worked on the painting from June 1918 to February 1919. Nash suggested the following inscription for the painting. ‘The picture shows a tract of country near Gheluvelt village in the sinister district of ‘Tower Hamlets’, perhaps the most dreaded and disastrous locality of any area in any of the theatres of War.’
Project & ACE
ACE was delighted to support the restoration of Paul Nash’s powerful painting The Menin Road, which now hangs in the newly refurbished First World War galleries in IWM London.