'Twentieth-century painter, designer and wood engraver Eric Ravilious was responsible for a magnificent range of different works: from book illustrations to ceramic designs for the Wedgewood pottery firm, and from travel posters to murals and watercolours. A firm friend of Edward Bawden and a pupil of Paul Nash, Ravilious's own artistic talents shone from early on.
Ravilious was an outstanding wood engraver, putting incredible detail and contrast in his works. His series of lithographs of shop fronts provides a beautifully ornate view of the quintessential English high street in a time gone by, and he also loved to paint landscapes of southern England or empty rural interiors. Far more interested in exploring different angles and curious perspectives than in simply being picturesque, he constantly pushed himself to create more original work with unusual compositions and a unique palette. When he became an official war artist of the Second World War, he changed from detailing the curves and lines of farm implements to depicting machines of a different kind: planes, ships and submarines, finding his own unique beauty amongst the nightmare'. (from a foreward by Hodge, in 'Eric Ravilious Masterpieces of Art')
Now one of the most celebrated artists of the mid-twentieth century, Eric Ravilious (1903 - 1942) work evokes both idyllic and troubled connections with a time only a few of us now remember but so many of us hold close to our souls. Eric Ravilious was killed whilst serving as a war artist within the Royal Air Force, following a rescue mission off the coast of Iceland.
More by Eric Ravilious
For further collections by Eric Ravilious please see our artist sections, A - Z