This spring we publish the definitive guide to the luminous, evocative and timeless watercolours of Eric Ravilious (1903-42), an artist now regarded as one of the finest of the twentieth century.
Ravilious: The Watercolours is the first full-length critical study to focus on the watercolours of this multi-talented British artist and designer. Adopting the wide-ranging approach familiar to readers of his previous books on the artist, author James Russell explores the evolution of a remarkable talent.
Ravilious’ astonishingly prolific career spanned peace and war. With the outbreak of World War II Ravilious was assigned to the Royal Navy as one of the first Official War Artists finding new ways to capture and preserve the fleeting record of passing time.
Including the most comprehensive display of Ravilious watercolours yet assembled – some have never been published – many are explored in short accompanying essays, some with full-bleed images that show details of paintings at full size, looking at composition, technique, influence and inspiration, as well as discussing the significance of particular subjects and the people behind the scenes.
Ravilious: The Watercolours, published in paperback on 31 March, is accompanied by the exhibition ‘Ravilious’ at Dulwich Picture Gallery, 1 April to 31 August, curated by James Russell.
Eric Ravilious, Dangerous Work at Low Tide, 1940, Watercolour and
pencil on paper, Image courtesy of Ministry of Defence, Crown
Eric Ravilious, Midnight Sun, 1940, Watercolour and graphite
on paper, ©Tate, London 2015
Eric Ravilious, Greenhouse, Cyclamen and Tomatoes, 1935,
Watercolour and graphite on paper, © Tate, London 2015
Eric Ravilious, Interior at Furlongs, 1939, Watercolour and pencil
on paper, Private Collection
Eric Ravilious, Tea at Furlongs, 1939, Watercolour and
pencil on paper, The Fry Art Gallery
Eric Ravilious, The Waterwheel, 1938, Watercolour and pencil on
paper, Brecknock Museum, with support from the Art Fund; the V&A
Purchase Fund; Brecknock Art Trust; Brecknock Society; Usk
Eric Ravilious, The Westbury Horse, 1939, Watercolour
and pencil on paper, Private Collection
Eric Ravilious, Train Landscape, 1940, Watercolour and pencil on
paper, Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums Collections
James Russell studied History at Pembroke College, Cambridge, but was galvanized into writing about art by a lengthy stint selling contemporary paintings and sculpture in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A passionate advocate of twentieth-century British painting and design, he writes and lectures widely. His books include the popular four-volume series Ravilious in Pictures, as well as titles devoted to Edward Seago, Peggy Angus and Paul Nash.