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Void, 1918

Paul Nash
British, 1889 - 1946
oil on canvas
71.4 x 91.7 cm
Transfer from the Canadian War Memorials, 1921
National Gallery of Canada (no. 8650)

After being repatriated due to an injury while serving as a lieutenant in the British army during the First World War, Paul Nash became an official war artist in 1917. As a witness to the horrors of war, he was able to accurately document the terrible sights he had seen. Working from memory, he depicted the total devastation of war, effectively shocking the viewer's sensibilities. The dark, hellish scene portrayed here does not commemorate bravery in battle, but rather reveals the desolation, destruction, and terror of it.

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