Sunday, 3 October 2010
Ravilious in Pictures: The War Paintings
We're putting the finishing touches to the next instalment of the 'Ravilious in Pictures' trilogy. It will be out in early November and is looking really good.
‘Ravilious in Pictures: The War Paintings’ celebrates and commemorates the wartime career of Eric Ravilious (1939-42), who died on active service in Iceland at the age of thirty-nine. One of a series of books that began with ‘Ravilious in Pictures: Sussex and the Downs’ (2009), it creates a vivid portrait both of the artist himself and of life in the wartime Britain.
As an Official War Artist, Ravilious visited ports, naval bases and airfields around Britain, witnessed the Allied invasion and retreat from Norway and produced watercolours and lithographs of subjects ranging from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal in action to the interior of a mobile pigeon loft. This remarkable body of work blends defiance with exhilaration and insists that there is a place for beauty in the darkest times.
‘Ravilious in Pictures: The War Paintings’, features twenty-two of these fascinating images, each accompanied by a short essay in which I explore the historical context of the work. Drawing on the artist’s correspondence and other contemporary sources, these essays offer an unusual, intriguing vision of life during the early years of the war.
‘Ravilious in Pictures: The War Paintings’ is a 48-page hardback book priced at £25. It will be published in early November by the Mainstone Press, and will be available in all good bookshops.