Conservation of the Menin Road painting

The Menin Road, 1919, Paul Nash © IWM (Art.IWM ART 2242)

Our new First World War Galleries – opening 19 July – will feature over 1,300 objects including Paul Nash’s painting of a battle scarred landscape The Menin Road.  War artist Paul Nash worked on the painting from June 1918 to February 1919.

In the painting two soldiers try to follow the line of a road that has been mutilated, almost beyond recognition. In fact, the whole landscape has been re-arranged, with the giant concrete blocks epitomising this harsh new order: the bursts of sunlight have become gun barrels; the reflections of trees, steel structures.

This large oil painting is over 3 metres wide and nearly 2 metres high. Earlier this month our Conservation Team had the enviable task of preparing the iconic painting for display, working with it each day for nearly a week! Watch them at work in the short film below.

You can find out more about art from the First World War and browse more paintings by Paul Nash here.

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