Eric Ravilious: Imagined Realilties by Alan Powers (Philip Wilson Publishers, £19.95) (From York Press)
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Eric Ravilious: Imagined Realilties by Alan Powers (Philip Wilson Publishers, £19.95)
8:30am Wednesday 20th June 2012 in Books
ERIC Ravilious, one of the best loved water colourists of his generation, spent the spring of 1942 in Clifton in York.
He wrote to his wife, “It is an extraordinary place and very large and perfectly flat. The people I like a lot especially the CO who flew me up and down Yorkshire this afternoon and kept pointing out abbeys and ruins”.
Six months later, at the age of 39, he was killed in Iceland when an air sea rescue mission failed to return. Ravilious was a diverse artist who produced murals, woodcuts for book illustration, transfer designs for Wedgewood pottery, and in 1940 became an official war artist. His watercolours of ships, aircraft and coastal defences are perhaps his most famous works and have a distinct feel of the age in which they were produced.
This readable and interesting account of the artist, his life and work, is a reprint of the 2003 retrospective catalogue of his exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. It is nicely produced and well illustrated so that we can see the techniques used by him in his unusual and distinct work.
The Second World War was a productive period for some of Britain’s wellknown artists, and if you don’t know of Eric Ravilious as being among them, then this book is an excellent introduction to his work and confirms him in the same class as John Piper and Paul Nash.