Eric Ravilious (1903 - 1942)

Afternoon in the Field, 1932

SKU: 11611
Watercolour, pen and ink

Size:
Height – 37cm
Width – 47cm

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
Zwemmer Gallery, London; Sotheby’s, 13th July 2007; Private collection
Presentation:
framed
Exhibitied:
London, Zwemmer Gallery, Eric Ravilious: An Exhibition of Watercolours, 24th November – 16th December 1933, cat. no. 28

Afternoon in the Field was shown by Eric Ravilious in November 1933, in his inaugural one-man exhibition at the Zwemmer Gallery on Charing Cross Road, London.This exhibition contained a body of work that Ravilious had produced whilst staying with Edward Bawden at Great Bardfield. 1932 was a tremendously fertile period for Ravilious, and he worked feverishly with Bawden as the pair strove to fulfil their shared ambition of reinventing the English watercolour tradition. While this example echoes the work of earlier British watercolourists – such as John Sell Cotman, JR Cozens, Turner, and Palmer – the artist also challenges this tradition with his bravura approach to the medium, which combined both dry and wet brush techniques, and a myriad of striated, scored and cross-hatched marks.

This painting, like others from Ravilious’ oeuvre, captures everyday English rural life in the interwar years, and is a timeless depiction of rustic living. The location is most likely to be inspired by the Essex landscape around Bardfield, as with the majority of the works in Ravilious’ 1933 exhibition. The scene appears to contain a straw rick and a barn amongst the buildings in the distance, which would indicate that this was a farm, and perhaps the very same site where Ravilious painted The Tractor (now in the collection of Birmingham Museums). Furthermore, there are some traces in pencil of figures threshing in the middle ground of the work, which would lend this theory more credence, even though Ravilious decided not to include them in the final composition.

Ravilious only had three solo exhibitions in his all too short life: another with the Zwemmer Gallery in 1936, and one at Arthur Tooth & Sons in 1939, before he was tragically lost in an air-sea rescue mission off the coast of Iceland, whilst working as an Official War Artist.

Disclaimer:
Liss Llewellyn are continually seeking to improve the quality of the information on their website. We actively undertake to post new and more accurate information on our stable of artists. We openly acknowledge the use of information from other sites including Wikipedia, artbiogs.co.uk and Tate.org and other public domains. We are grateful for the use of this information and we openly invite any comments on how to improve the accuracy of what we have posted.

THE ARTIST

Eric Ravilious
Eric
Ravilious
1903 - 1942

Born in London he studied at the Eastbourne School of Art and at The Royal College of Art under Paul Nash, where Edward Bawden became a close friend. Initially a muralist (none of which has survived), he became widely known for his luminous watercolours, woodcuts, lithographs ‘ notably his High Street Shops executed by the Curwen Press, (published by Country Life in 1938 in a book with a text by JM Richards, husband of Peggy Angus), ceramics for Wedgewood and graphics for London Transport, as well as glass and furniture design. Much inspired by the South Downs in East Sussex, he was a frequent visitor to Furlongs, the cottage of the artist Peggy Angus. In 1930 he married fellow artist ‘Tirzah’ Garwood, they then moved to rural Essex, at first sharing a house with the Bawdens. An official World War II artist and with a commission with the Royal Marines, he died while with an RAF air sea rescue mission to Iceland. His works are in the collections of numerous British museums and art galleries, the largest holding is at the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne.

Selected Literature: Alan Powers, Eric Ravillious: Imagined Realities, Imperial War Museum, London, 2003.

MORE PICTURES BY ARTIST

Eric Ravilious (1903 - 1942)
Afternoon in the Field, 1932
Private
Eric Ravilious (1903 - 1942)
November 5th, 1933
Eric Ravilious (1903 - 1942)
Wallpaper Design: Butterball Crab Apples on a Plate, circa 1924
£120
Sold
Eric Ravilious (1903 - 1942)
The original Nonesuch Press Electro plate for Gilbert White’s Natural History of Selborne. 1938
Private
Eric Ravilious (1903 - 1942)
Cottage in Sussex, c. 1934
Sold
Eric Ravilious (1903 - 1942)
Handkerchief
Sold
Eric Ravilious (1903 - 1942)
Floods at Lewes
Private
Eric Ravilious (1903 - 1942)
Butterball Crab Apples on a plate, design for wall paper, circa 1924
Sold
Eric Ravilious (1903 - 1942)
Tirzah on a cockerel, 1931
Forthcoming
Eric Ravilious (1903 - 1942)
The Famous Tragedy of the Rich Jew of Malta, 1933