Painter and accomplished etcher and lithographer, Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson was born in 1889. He attended St. John’s Wood School of Art from 1907 to 1908 and the Slade School of Art from 1908 to 1912. From 1912 to 1913, Nevinson also studied at the Académie Julián in Paris where he shared a studio with Modigliani, made friends with Severini and worked at the Cercle Russe.
Interested in Cubism and Futurism, Nevinson was one of the first English artists to be deeply influenced by new developments in Europe at that time. His work was included in the Post-Impressionists and Futurists exhibition at the Dore Gallery in 1913 and he organized a banquet for the Futurist leader, Marinetti in London during that year. A founding member of the London Group, and active in the Rebel Art Center, Nevinson wrote, with Marinetti, “Visual English Art: A Futurist Manifesto”, published in the Observer in 1914. He also contributed to the second issue of “Blast”.
In 1915 Nevinson joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and was made an Official War Artist in 1917. He was the first artist to draw from the air. He tried to sum up the anonymity of the individual in “Column on the March” (1915), the destructiveness of war in “The Road From Arras to Bapaume” (1918) and its horror in “Paths of Glory”, which was censored and earned him a reprimand from the War Office.
His prints, in their bold contrast and jagged forms, marked a complete break with the Whistler tradition. In 1919 and 1920 Nevinson visited New York and his emotional response inspired such work as “The Soul of a Soulless City”(1920). He was elected to the N.E.A.C. in 1929, the R.B.A. in 1932 and the A.R.A. in 1939. His later landscape and flower pieces were gentler and less radical in design than his work before 1925.