Shared Experience: Art and War
Contemporary art critic Graham McInnes wrote of Nichols’s official war art in 1950:
Groups of sailors in the sick bay, in their hammocks in the foetid below-decks atmosphere of a pitching destroyer, or snatching a few brief moments of leisure in the heat and press of convoy duty: all these convey both the sadness and the ultimate serenity of a scene from Dostoievsky.
Mess deck was the last canvas Nichols completed as an official war artist. Notice how the cup held by the central figure is conveyed by a few lines scratched into the paint.