Friday, August 16, 2013



CHRISTOPHER RICHARD WYNE NEVINSON (1889-1946)  known also by C R W Nevinson and Richard Nevinson, was one of the most notable British artists in the era of WWI.  The son of a war correspondent and journalist father and writer mother, Nevinson was schooled in the early years at Uppingham School and later studied at St John's Wood School of Art.  The work of Augustus John inspired him to go on to attend the Slade School of Art in London.

After departing Slade, Nevinson became friends with Marinetti, radical writer and leader of the Italian Futurists and with Rebel Art Center founder, Wyndham Lewis.  As WWI broke out, Nevinson joined the Friends Ambulance Unit where he worked caring for wounded soldiers and serving as an ambulance driver.  Poor health forced him to return to Britain.  His war time experience became the subject matter of some extremely powerful paintings, of which artist Walter Sickert wrote; "will probably  remain the most authoritative and concentrated utterance on the war in the history of painting".

Nevinson went on to volunteer for service in the Royal Army Medical Corp and was soon appointed as an official war artist, making him one of the most famous young English artists of the time..  By 1917, Nevinson's paintings completely lacked any of the effects of the Futurist or Vorticist movements.  At the end of the war he made his way to America and painted several powerful images of New York City.  His exaggerated claims of his war experiences, along with his temperamental  personality did little to endear him to the public and made him numerous enemies in the States.

In 1920, critic Lewis Hind wrote of Nevinson, "it is something at the age of 31, to be among the most discussed, most successful, most promising, most admired, and most hated British artists:".

There is an extensive collection of Nevinson's work at the Imperial War Museum of London.

Image above, "La Mitrailleuse" by C R W Nevinson, 1915.

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