Paul Nash, who died in 1946, was one of the finest English landscape painters of the first half of the twentieth century. He painted what he had known and loved from his childhood, the gently rounded chalk hills to the west of London and above all the trees that grow there. Later he moved to live in Kent and subsequently Dorset where he recorded and captured these two very different parts of the South Coast. Some have claimed—and with reason—that he is the true heir to Constable, no artists between them having so well expressed the distinctive qualities of the English countryside.

Apart from forays to the French Riviera, where, taking advantage of its very un-English bright sunlight he produced Blue House on the Shore (1930), a sharp cube of a building, he worked almost entirely in southern England. He never painted the bleak, rugged, romantic...