One of the most apocalyptic of Nevinson's paintings, Bursting Shell uses the strong lines and swirling movement of Futurist and Vorticist compositions to recreate the effect of an explosion. The dark shapes, which could be shards of debris or shadows, fracture what appear to be the bricks and timber of buildings and roads. The strong focal point of the vortex - with its bright light and dizzying spiral - simulates the disorientating sensory experience of an explosion."
Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson
76 x 56 cm
Oil on canvas
Date of work
English painter and son of H. W. Nevinson, the war correspondent and author. Nevinson was at his best when dealing with the dynamism and vertiginous scale of big-city life. From 1912 he painted in a Futurist style which he continued to use to express the reality of war, having been to France with the Red Cross. In later years he switched to a more traditional style of painting and concentrated more on pastoral scenes and flower pieces.