One of Nash’s most celebrated paintings, Totes Meer depicts the wreckage of German aircraft in an Oxfordshire field. The title is German for ‘dead sea’, and the image reflects Nash’s vision of the broken planes as a great sea “rearing up and crashing on the plain”. He felt there was a “persistent suggestion of a ghostly presence [ ] baffled yet malign” among the abandoned aircraft.
Totes Meer (Dead Sea)
Aftermath, Paul Nash
101.6 x 152.4 cm
Oil paint on canvas
Date of work
Original: Oil paint on canvas, 101.6 x 152.4 cm © 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.