Eric Ravilious and 20th century British Art

img_20161128_085926I found this painting in a junk shop in Birmingham. It was filthy; but oil paintings are tough and almost always clean up well.

Even in that condition I could see the strong composition, colour & form.

It’s unsigned (unusual if it’s by an “amateur”) An unsigned work is more often that of an artist who is working prolifically, but is not of celebrity status and so doesn’t have to think about provenance later down the line!

This is by someone who understands classical painting and has been classically taught ( it’s sketched out in Prussian blue, and quite right too, my old Art tutors would have lynched the class of 71-74 for using the colour black ANYWHERE!)

My junk shop painting here has the colours, the look and the feel of  1920’s-30’s British Art, a taste of which is currently celebrated at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings UK.

At that exhibition, the artist Eric Ravilious is justly celebrated. Often dismissed as “just” a designer, ceramicist & illustrater (the “Art world” is soaked in snobbery, secrecy and sycophancy and bathed in bitching and bathos, awash on a sea of fashion and cult; OK rant over…………..)

He was also a war artist and chronicler of rural life, landscapes, buildings and cottage interiors on the South Downs,his paintings epitomise the period he lived in; cut tragically short in 1942 when he died in a plane crash somewhere remote in Iceland. Study his paintings and you will note the strong diagonal lines in the composition , the treatment of shapes, the subtle and slightly unsettling manipulation of perspective in parts.

Those evocative colours,  the graphic treatment of shade and distance by using repetitive lines and small shapes in a painterly version of classic “cross hatching” techniques usually found in pen or pencil drawings. See below and here




About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
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9 Responses to Eric Ravilious and 20th century British Art

  1. Gray Haven says:

    Reblogged this on NoelG and commented:
    Some lovely and captivating paintings. (I like the alliterative rant halfway down too!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Breathtaking finds. Love it! Inspired me multi “junk store” shop.


  3. Osyth says:

    What a fabulous find …. I am covetous. And I am grateful for the introduction to Eric Ravilious who, predictably I am certain, I had never heard of. Fabulous work.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. bizzyella says:

    So do you think that’s what you got? But you don’t think you have the clout to make it worth a bundle? Doesn’t matter, really: it’s charming and cheerful, so who cares?


  5. francetaste says:

    Great paintings! I had never heard about Eric Ravilious, so thanks for the introduction.

    Liked by 2 people

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