The Village, Wales
© The Estate of the Artist

Reference URL

The Village, Wales about 1930
  • Scottish Art
This watercolour was painted by Nairn while on holiday in Wales around 1930. The artist had visited Paris in the mid-1920s where he would have come into contact with styles such as Surrealism and Cubism. The light stylisation of this meticulously-painted work appears to have been influenced by such avant-garde art. The painting is also notable for Nairn’s use of strong light, bright colours and a clear blue sky.

Glossary Open

Avant garde

Cultural practices that challenge tradition through experimentation and innovation. Originally a military term, in art it is particularly associated with the late 19th and 20th centuries.


A style of painting originated by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the first two decades of the 20th century. Instead of painting a figure or object from a fixed position they represented it from multiple viewpoints.


A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.


A paint with colouring and binding agents diluted with water. It has a transparent quality and is usually applied to paper.

Avant garde, Cubism , Surrealism, Watercolour


  • Acc. No. GMA 4253
  • Medium Watercolour on artists board
  • Size 40.70 x 40.50 cm (framed: 72.00 x 64.00 x 2.50 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1998 with funds from the collecting box