Eric Ravilious was a designer, painter, printmaker, and illustrator best known for his war work and depictions of the English landscape, particularly the South Downs in Sussex. Often described as a particularly “English” artist, key to his style was an ability to convey in watercolor the nuances of the British climate. Eric Ravilious: Landscapes & Nature explores his appreciation of the natural world and the techniques he used in a variety of media to convey its various elements.
Drawing on the V&A’s collections, more than one hundred beautiful images capture Ravilious’s deep enjoyment of everything in nature, from grassy hills, owls, greenhouse geraniums, and snow, to rainy seas, airport-runway puddles, and tideswept beaches. This book reveals common themes running through his work, such as weather, plants, animals, and birds, as well as Ravilious’s love of depicting signs of human presence in the landscape, including rusting machinery, ships and aircraft, and his famous illustrations of hillside chalk figures.
Although best known for his watercolors, Ravilious was also inspired to learn wood engraving by seeing the V&A’s Samuel Palmer exhibition of 1926. Due to encouragement by his tutor Paul Nash and later to financial pressures, Ravilious turned his hand to a wide variety of creative work, from designs for ceramics, glass, furniture, murals, and textiles, to illustrating books, pamphlets, and posters.
Ella Ravilious is Curator: Architecture and Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum, having worked there in various roles since 2005. She is the granddaughter of Eric Ravilious and Tirzah Garwood. This is her first book.