Eric William Ravilious (1903 – 1942) was a British wood engraver, watercolourist, and ceramics decorator. He is particularly known for his watercolours of the South Downs and other English landscapes. He served as a war artist and was the first British war artist to die on active service in World War II. Ravilious studied with Edward Bawden and Charles Mahoney at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London in 1928. He painted a series of marionette-like murals for Morley College, which were destroyed by bombing in 1941.
He studied at the Eastbourne School of Art from 1919 to 1922 and at the Royal College of Art in London from 1922 to 1925 under Paul Nash and others.
He taught at the Royal College of Art from 1929 to 1939. His primary occupation was making wood engravings for book illustrations. Walter de la Mare’s The Elm Angel (1930), William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (1932), The Kynoch Press Notebook and Diary (1933), and Gilbert White’s The Natural History of Selborne (1937) all featured his work.
Ravilious produced printers’ ornaments for the Curwen, Golden Cockrel, and Nonesuch presses, decorations for the BBC and London Transport Board publications, advertisements for Austin Reed, and book jackets for the publisher Duckworth all of which were influenced by Paul Nash’s work.
- Ravilious, Edward Bawden, and Cyril Mahoney collaborated on the Morley College refreshment room murals in 1928–29.
- They designed the British pavilion wall decoration for the 1937 Paris’ Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne.’
- He designed a Regency revival furniture suite for Cecilia Dunbar Kilburn’s London shop Dunbar Hay in 1936.
- His transfer-printed bucolic vignettes were over-painted in enamel colours on regular ceramic blanks when he got his first commission from Wedgwood in 1935.
- Stuart Crystal in Stourbridge commissioned him to design glassware in 1935.
He became increasingly interested in watercolour painting in the late 1930s. In 1938, he started experimenting with colour lithography, which he began with his illustrations for High Street (1938). He was named an official war artist in 1940.
Design Books – Amazon
* This website may contain affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission when you click on links at no additional cost. As an Amazon and Sovrn affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Designing Liners: A History of Interior Design Afloat
French Art Deco by Jared Goss
The Art of Critical Making
Iconic: Modern Australian houses 1950-2000
Encyclopedia of Contemporary Italian Culture
Matteo Thun: The Index Book
The Homemade Coffee Cookbook
The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s
The Architecture of Health Hospital Design
Swedish Design: An Ethnography
Italian Designers at Home
1968: Radical Italian Design
Radical: Italian Design 1965–1985
Materials and Design$17.17
The Thoughtless Design of Everyday Things
Mid-Century Modern Design: A Complete Sourcebook
You may also be interested in
Josiah Wedgwood is a British ceramics manufacturer. It was situated in the Staffordshire towns of Burslem and Barlaston. Josiah Wedgwood (1730-95) began his career as an apprentice in numerous firms at an early age. He began experimenting with clay bodies and glazes in 1754.
William Bower Dalton (1868 – 1965) was a British watercolourist and potter. He was active in Kent and the United States. He was the principal of Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts from 1899 to 1919. He was the curator of the South London Art Gallery during and after this time.
Paris, newly liberated from the German occupation, sprung to life during the 1950s as a centre for all modes of artistic endeavour, most notably in fine art, literature, and music. Its association with romantic literary figures such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Roland Barthes made the city incredibly appealing to every serious-minded man or woman.