Painted in 1934, Event on the Downs
is one of Nash’s most distinctive and powerful paintings. He was attracted to the surrealists’ use of found objects to convey hidden meanings and his pictures of this period often feature encounters with seemingly arbitrary objects, but he placed these within the landscapes he knew and loved, such as Ballard Down on the Dorset coast, where this picture is set.
Event on the Downs
51 x 61 cm
Oil paint on canvas
Date of work
Original: Oil paint on canvas, 51 x 61 cm Government Art Collection © Tate
Paul Nash was fascinated with Britain’s ancient past and spent time in southern England exploring the downs and coastal areas. Equally inspired by the equinox and the phases of the moon, he used all these influences in his work, interpreting his environment according to a unique, personal mythology, evolving throughout his career.