Ravilious’ English Life and Wartime

“Wiltshire Landscape”, 1937

Eric Ravillious (1903 – 1942) was an outstanding artist, illustrator, designer, and lithographer, who is most remembered for his charming watercolour art prints depicting the scenic countryside of the south east of England. Ravillious had a close connection with this place, as he grew up in the area, being educated at the Eastbourne School of Art – before going on to study at the Royal College of Art. Eric Ravillious’ work also shows captivating urban scenes of London.

While at the Royal College of Art, he married another well known artist, Tirzah Garwood in 1930 and they collaborated on many artistic projects together. He becoming one of the most popular artists of the 1930’s.

He started a career as an Official War Artist in 1939, and over the next three years, produced many exceptional paintings of naval scenes.


“Wet Afternoon”, 1928

One of Eric Ravilious’ good friends and contemporaries was the famous British artist, Edward Bawden, who he depicted in some of his paintings:

“Edward Bawden Working in His Studio”, 1930

If you’d like to see some of Bawden’s illustration work, you can see two of his books I posted here:

Edward Bawden’s Illustrations for “Vathek” by Rivka Stein on Book Artists and Their Illustrations

Illustrations for “Utopia” on Book Artists and Their Illustrations

“Tirzah Garwood and Charlotte Bawden in Brick House”, 1930

“The Train Journey”, by Tirzah Garwood (Ravilious), 1930

“The River Thames at Hammersmith”, 1932

“The Greenhouse, Cyclamen and Tomatoes”, 1935

Greenwich Pier”, c.1935

“November 5th”, 1933

Illustration from “High Street”, 1938

If you’re interested in seeing the rest of the illustrations from this book, I’ve posted them for you to see on my blog:

Eric Ravilious’ Illustrations for “High Street” on Book Artists and Their Illustrations

“Train Landscape”, 1940

“Westbury Horse”, 1940

“The Wilmington Giant”, 1940

“Ship’s Screw on a Railway Truck”, 1940

“Barrage Balloons at Sea”, 1940

“HMS Ark Royal in Action”, 1940

Dangerous Work at Low Tide”, 1940

“Leaving Scapa Flow”, 1940

“HMS Glorious in the Arctic”, 1940

“Submarines in Dry Dock”, 1940

“Shelling by Night”, 1941

“Introductory Drawings”, 1941

“Diving Controls No.1”, 1941

Diving Controls No. 2″, 1941

“Testing Davis Apparatus”, 1941

“The Diver”, 1941

“Commander Looking Through the Periscope”, 1941

Ward Room No. 2″, 1941

Different Aspects of Submarines”, 1941

“Hurricanes in Flight”, 1942

On 28 August 1942 Ravilious flew to Reykjavík and then travelled on to RAF Kaldadarnes. The day he arrived there, 1 September, a Lockheed Hudson aircraft had failed to return from a patrol. The next morning three planes were despatched at dawn to search for the missing plane and Ravilious opted to join one of the crews. The plane he was on also failed to return and after four days of further searching, the RAF declared Ravilious and the four-man crew lost in action.


Source: Ravilious-English-Life-and-Wartime


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