The England of Eric Ravilious Paperback
Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) died at the age of thirty-nine when the Air Sea Rescue mission, which he was accompanying in his capacity as Official War Artist, failed to return to its base in Iceland.
In his short working life he figured in a group of exceptionally gifted artists, including Edward Bawden and John Nash, who came into prominence just before the Second World War.
He achieved considerable success with his design work in a variety of fields, and is acknowledged to be one of the greatest English wood-engravers.
Ravilious, however, felt that his most serious work was landscape painting in watercolour.
Surprisingly, this material was generally neglected until the publication of The England of Eric Ravilious, a study hailed on publication as 'an irresistible book about a still underrated artist'.
This re-issue marked the centenary of the artist's birth. In his powerful yet exquisite watercolours, Ravilious's England reveals itself as a country of rolling downland, quiet countryside, tranquil gardens, greenhouses and farmhouse interiors, the calm and beauty of which are threatened by the gathering storm of an imminent war.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 104 pages, Includes 32 colour and 38 b&w illustrations
- Publisher: Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd
- Publication Date: 28/05/2003
- Category: History of art & design styles: from c 1900 -
- ISBN: 9780853318804
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Review by presto
he book opens with a list of plates, and a chronology. The main text, interesting but somewhat reverential in tone, chronicles his life and wide ranging career. The Plates conclude the book; there is no index.It is an attractively laid out book, and a good size (over 10.5” x 8.5”; 27cm x 21.5cm), however it is let down in a couple of respects. Firstly the quality of reproduction of the text is sub-standard; the problem is probably pre-printing as the illustrations to not appear to be affected. Secondly the images are disappoint small relative to the page size, while the plates a presented one to a page, very few occupying more than half the page area. There are 30 full colour reproductions but disappointingly 34 in black and white, plus a few small black and white engravings accompanying the text. A valuable book for providing us with a collective of Ravilious’ watercolours, a shame more care was not take with its production; four stars for content ignoring the poorly reproduced text.