|Eric Ravilious, Beachy Head, 1939|
|Belle Tout circa 1900|
During this busy period the artist spent several days on Beachy Head, unknowingly rehearsing his wartime role as a painter of coastal defences. In 'Ravilious in Pictures: Sussex and the Downs' we featured one of the pictures he made from his vantage point on the cliffs, and I imagine that the view at night from the lantern room of the new hotel is similar.
|Belle Tout Hotel, lantern room (Rob Wassell|
'Just now I am busy on the hills painting,' he wrote to his friend Diana Tuely, 'in the greatest comfort with my jacket off, and seated in a magnificent Chinese chair. That is to say I am perched in the top of the Belle Tout lighthouse (I wish you could see this) in the lantern drawing the immense expanse below with a gale blowing outside'.
I am very much hoping that the painting he made from this vantage point will be included in the fourth volume of our Ravilious series. 'Ravilious in Pictures: A Travelling Artist' is due to be published by the Mainstone Press in November, featuring watercolours painted by the artist on his travels around Britain and northern France. There are some gorgeous pictures in this new volume, from fabulous interiors to harbour scenes and Welsh landscapes, and some wonderful stories to be told...
Full details of the book will be released soon, and I will post a picture of 'Belle Tout' once all arrangements are in place.