Eric Ravilious

I am very grateful to Twitter for introducing me to Eric Ravilious. I retweet rather a lot of his work. There was an exhibition at Wiltshire Museum that ended earlier in the year. I would have loved to have gone but it was logistically impossible.

Ravilious was a prolific artist, illustrator and wood engraver whose life was tragically cut short. In 1942 while working as a war artist he was on an aircraft that was searching for another missing plane. Sadly Ravilious and the four man crew were also reported missing in action. His body was never recovered.

Here’s one of Ravilious’ wood carvings, a rather splendid rendition of ‘the Long Man of Wilmington in Sussex where the artist grew up. I’d never actually come across any of his printmaking before researching this post. I never cease to marvel at the wealth of information that we’ve got at our finger tips these days.

Ravilious is better known for his watercolour work. I’ve included a picture of another Long Man of Wilmington. In contrast to the previous picture this has the softness which is characteristic of his work. I’m drawn to this even though I’m a person who usually prefers bright colours.

And that same palette is used in his war paintings. This is one of a warship leaving Scarpa Flow. I think that they’re instilled with a sense of tranquility as a consequence. It’s rather an odd quality for depictions recording conflict. I’m quite aware that the peace could be broken at any time.
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