Eric Ravilious - A life in pictures

James Russell

Wednesday 20th September 2017

Eric Ravilious was only 39 when he died on active service as a war artist in 1942, yet he had already achieved amazing things. A brilliant wood engraver and designer, he is best known today for his haunting watercolours in which lighthouses, white horses, empty rooms and downland paths become marvels. Over the past decade James has explored many of these paintings in depth, teasing out stories and characters hidden in the wings. This illustrated talk illuminates the life and work of a playful, enigmatic artist, with plentiful examples of his work in watercolour, wood engraving, lithography and ceramics. The paintings are a delight, the Ravilious story funny, sad and full of surprises. 

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 20th century painting and design, he writes and lectures widely. His books include the popular 4-volume series Ravilious in Pictures, about British watercolourist and designer Eric Ravilious (1903-42), and other titles devoted to Paul Nash, Peggy Angus, Edward Bawden and Edward Seago. He curated the 2015 exhibition Ravilious at Dulwich Picture Gallery and has lectured all over the country, from Rye to Glasgow and from the V&A to the Royal West of England Academy.