War and Peace

War and Peace


How does the work of Paul Nash challenge William Phillip’s depiction of the war? Answer the question in terms of subject, composition, color, and perspective (Where does your eye go when viewing the work?)

This entry was posted in ART IN HISTORY CLASS. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to War and Peace

  1. Samantha Kosziollek says:

    In the works of ‘War and Peace,’ Paul Nash takes a more destructive and negative outlook to the war – as would most people, while William Phillips identifies the peace, beauty, and hope beyond the destruction. Paul Nash depicts what war would look like – the fires, rubble, etc. He also uses more dark colors when creating these scenes because he shows little hope during the war. Paul Nash was anti-war. William Phillips, on the other hand, creates stories in his artwork. These stories, like the one above, show potential hope. For example (the artwork above), there is hope that the man will return from the battlefield. Phillips uses brighter colors, even in his aviation paintings (in the background), to show the light among the darkness. He saw hope and peace beyond the rubble. In Phillips’ artwork, the eye is drawn mostly to the light escaping from the background, as well as the main figures: like the planes or people (above painting). In Nash’s work, however, the eye is mostly drawn to the smoke (if there is any in the artwork). Also, the eye is also drawn to the significant barrenness of the land when looking at Nash’s work.

    • M johnson says:

      As our class expert, you recognize immediately the shift in tone between the two artists. These works allowed us to peer into this destruction yet at the same time experience the quiet hum of life in the midst of terrible pain.

  2. Paloma Díaz says:

    Paul Nash describes war, he has a very tragic and destructive attitude towards this. He shows his very strong outlook on war by showing rubble, dirt, and destruction in his art by using dark colors. My eye is drawn to all the devastation and little faith he has in war. The eye is also drawn to the important emptiness and darkness of the land.
    When he depicts peace, however, he identifies it as a sense of hope and serenity. He shows this by using brighter and happier colors in his art. He expresses a lot of emotions with the colors and techniques he uses.

    • M johnson says:

      How does William Phillip’s couple play a role in this work? Is it just the colors that calm us?

  3. Maynard Santos says:

    Color wise, Paul Nash’s piece and William Phillip’s piece seem very similar. Brownish hues, dark/shadow blacks, and other very warm colors are present. They’re both depicting war-time (was it WWI?) and no bright, gaudy colors are used in either piece.

    Nash’s depiction has grotesque terrain (shattered tree trunks & leveled fields), and visceral figures as well. War looks grim and out of the control of man; Paul Nash’s piece seems nightmarish. The focus is a decimated mule train that got caught in the chaos of war.

    In a complete contrast, William Phillip’s depiction of war seems hopeful. The dark brooding skyline of the unknown consequences of war is minimalized by the much more welcoming colors of the station. The couple in the foreground are sharing a parting embrace/kiss and it provides a sense that at one point (hopefully) they may meet following his service in the war.

  4. M johnson says:

    Yes the period is WWI for Paul Nash. Which of the two paintings did you prefer?

  5. Joerenz Bolina says:

    How does the work of Paul Nash challenge William Phillip’s depiction of the war? Answer the question in terms of subject, composition, color, and perspective (Where does your eye go when viewing the work?)

    William Phillip depicts the war in a more peaceful and optimistic outlook. In Will Hold You, he depicts many men heading off to fight in the war, most parting ways with their loved ones. The painting especially focuses on a man, in the center, going off to fight in the war. Before his leave on the Magic Hogwarts, Polar Express train, he kisses his wife good-bye. This painting is bittersweet due to this. The love of the two give off a sense of hope, that they may meet again after the war is over and the man returns. It is bitter in the sense that this may be the last time she sees him. The dog lying on the ground can symbolize loyalty: loyalty that the girl will stay true to her lover and wait for his return while supporting the country on the side, and loyalty that the guy will remain truthful to his girl and his country during the fight. This could apply to more people than just them, even today. It’s like a sense of strength, of hope, an optimistic view, per say. The people walking off in the back into the shadows can symbolize soldiers walking into new and unknown territory; that the outcomes may be unpredictable and ominous and there may be death. On the flip-side, they may come back victorious and with their heads held high. The skies above cast a sunset that speaks. The darker colors are trying to tell us that ominous things are to come and what may come may be sad, but the lighter and brighter colors tell us there is a sense of peace, hope, and love around during the time, that glory and victory may be achieved. It really seems to be heightening the moral of the people involved in the war. Speaking of colors, for the most part, they are much brighter in this painting and they seem to depict a hopeful and optimistic view on war. The painting gives off a cool and peaceful vibe, and is composed that way too. It’s painted like a story and seems life-like/real. The coloring is especially nice.
    Paul Nash challenges Phillip by showing us a more cynical, yet more realistic, view of war. He depicts the subject of war, which to him causes destruction to the environment and people involved. In The Mule Track, he uses much darker colors and a darker. The work itself doesn’t have a specific focus or composition; rather, it’s a bunch of fire, smoke, rubble, destruction, rising water (possibly a water pipe), and dead trees meant to imply what tragedies wars have brought upon mankind. The darkness of the painting can be immediately captured upon a first outlook. The perspective seems to lie in the center to southwest and northeast areas of the painting, especially the destruction in the center, rising waters, and the tank tread near the bottom corner, and the smoke and fire in the northeast. All seem to imply negative effects and destruction of war. The painting is very unsettling, angry, and cynical in its vibe. It seems to be blurred, surreal, and dreamy, although scenes like that have existed in real life. It’s really depressing, in a sense. It still looks like a well painted painting, though.
    Phillip (pro-war) gives us hope, faith, and love in war. All of that is great for the moral of the people- whether they are helping on the sides or actually fighting. However, Nash (anti-war) is much more realistic and cynical. He literally throws the negative consequences of war right our faces with his artwork, and gives us plenty of reasons (death, environmental destruction, waste of resources, non-human species hurt) why we should not head into war. I agree with both of their views, and I like their styles, so I cannot select a favorite.

  6. Randy Edwards says:

    When looking at the two pieces of art, I immediately see a difference in the colors used by the two artists Paul Nash, and William Phillips. Paul Nash used darker colors that would give an eerie feeling to what is being seen in the art. While, William Phillips used lighter colors that bring the feeling of safety like being at home. These two paintings at first glance are a contrast of one another.
    Looking further into the paintings, I am drawn to the violent waves in Paul Nash’s artwork. On the other hand William Phillip’s work my eye gets drawn to the train. The waves in my opinion project destruction and the taking away of life out of people. While the train, to me it projects peace and the re-birth of life.
    In final comparison I believe Paul Nash’s and William Phillip’s depiction of the war are a complete contrast to one another. The colors and what catches the eye both contrast to each other.

  7. Daniel Chauca says:

    In terms of subject Paul Nash’s painting is about World War l, while William Phillip’s paintings in set in World War ll. Paul’s painting contains only destruction. You see broken and burnt trees, broken water pipes, smoke, and a mule track. In Phillip’s painting, it is less disastrous and has a more sad tone to it. Young soldiers departing for war faced an unknown journey, filled with patriotism and passion for their country. They held their heads up high as they bid farewell to their loved ones. Nash’s art has mainly dark colors which makes up most of the paintings. There is also yellow and orange to show the fire. When you see it, your eyes almost immediately look at the smoke and the broken water pipes. Phillip’s art contains mainly warm colors such as yellow, orange, and red. In this painting, my eyes go toward the couple kissing and the train.

  8. Neena Arias says:

    In the depiction of war, it is chaotic and violent, you look all over in order to get the full feel for the destruction and all around disorder, yet in the work by Paul Nash, you have this sort of calm and together farewell scene where you focus on focal points like the couple out front or the train preparing to leave. You go from the destruction of the aftermath of war to the soldiers saying goodbye so that they can take part in the destruction.

  9. Keri Mallari says:

    As a five-year-old would say it, the first image looks very dark and scary, while the second image looks very sweet, and bright. I would totally agree with that five year old, because you see several contrasts in both works.
    Paul Nash’s work looks very destructive, and dark, and sad, and hopeless. His work shows, I believe, the aftermath of the war, all the dirt, rubbish, smoke, and whatnot. It’s a very anti-war piece, because it really shows the destruction, and the bad part of the war. While William Phillip’s work looks a bit more hopeful, much more calming and soothing colors; brighter ones. His work shows a very happy, don’t worry I’ll see you, and I’m pretty sure you’ll come back after the war.
    Paul Nash’s work challenge William Phillip’s depiction of war, because he crushes, and destroys the tiny bit of hope that Phillip’s was showing in his work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s