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Drawing - The Combat

The Combat

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1910 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Paul Nash, born 1889 - died 1946 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen, ink and wash

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Paul and Margaret Nash Trust, in accordance with the wishes of Margaret Nash

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case WD, shelf 43

This drawing depicts a dramatic nightmare battle between an angel and a devil. The mysteries associated with the night fascinated the British artist Paul Nash (1889-1946). He explored the notion that sometimes only the trees witnessed events that took place after dark.

In an accompanying poem Nash describes this scene.

‘A place of gibbet-shapen trees and black abyss
Where gaunt hills brooded dark and evil
Girdled by dense wet woods and rushing streams
A dread place seen only in dreams
Of which there is no history but this
That on yon' stony tor
An angel fought a devil.’

Physical description

Pencil, ink and wash drawing of a male figure fighting a bird-like creature on the top of a hill.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)


1910 (made)


Paul Nash, born 1889 - died 1946 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Pen, ink and wash

Marks and inscriptions

'P. N.'
Signed with monogram


Height: 35.6 cm, Width: 25.8 cm

Object history note

This drawing was formerly entitled 'Angel and Devil '. See Margot Eastes, Paul Nash, 1948, p.50; Paul Nash, Outline, 1949, repr. p.64; Anthony Bertram, Paul Nash, 1955, p.61, 62, 280, 319. It was exhibited at the Oxford Arts Club, 1931 (No.11). It was exhibited at the Oxford Arts Club, 1931 (No.11).

Descriptive line

'The Combat'. Pencil, ink and wash drawing by Paul Nash, 1910.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Eates, Margot, Paul Nash , 1948, p.50
Nash, Paul, Outline , 1949
Bertram, Anthony, Paul Nash , 1955, pp 61, 62, 280, 319
Tate Gallery, Paul Nash: Paintings and Watercolours, , (London: Tate Gallery Publications, 1975), p.47
ed. Michael Bracewell, Martin Clark and Alun Rowlands, The Dark Monarch: Magic & Modernity in British Art London: Tate Publishing, 2009. ISBN: 9781854378743.
David Fraser Jenkins, Paul Nash. The Elements London: Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2010. ISBN: 978-1-85759-619-9.
Victoria & Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1962. London: HMSO, 1964.
David Boyd HaycockNash, Nevinson, Spencer, Gertler, Carrington, Bomberg. A Crisis of Brilliance 1908-22 London: Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2013. ISBN: 9781857598186.
Emma Chambers, ed. Paul Nash London : Tate Publishing, 2016. 9781849764919
p. 68


Ink; Wash



Subjects depicted

Night; Devil; Angel


Drawings; Images Online


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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