March – Eric Ravilious

This, I suspect, is one of Eric’s best known images. It features as the March picture on the 2014 Ravilious calendar.

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All those who realise I love railways will think that I love this picture. Those who know I am a Wiltshire dweller will think I do, too, for the view from the train window shows the Westbury White Horse. That’s something I pass by on a fairly regular basis. In fact, here’s a 2001 view when the old horse was in need of a clean up.

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Yes, I do love the picture. It’s a great work of art but all is not quite as it seems.

Eric’s original picture showed the Long Man of Wilmington through the train window. He wasn’t satisfied and his wife, Tirzah, a quality artist herself, did a real cut and paste job, affixing the Wiltshire white horse in place of the Sussex giant.

As a railway nerd, I always thought that looked like an old Sussex train. Everything about it says so to me, from the lettering showing a carriage number to the leather strap for opening the window. Somehow that carriage looked wrong in Wiltshire. Most folks won’t notice that.

So all the brush strokes are by Eric, but the composition of the work is Tirzah’s. Between them – what team work – they created a wonderful and evocative image of times past.

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3 Responses to “March – Eric Ravilious”

  1. Rosemary Jones Says:

    I live in Worthing and took the train to Eastbourne yesterday, rather than driving as I usually do. I know a lot about Ravilious’ work but it was the first time I’d seen the view he had, from the train. I took some photos as the train went by the Long Man of Wilmington: it’s a very striking image in the landscape, and stands out extremely clearly when seen from the train. I wish I’d had my proper camera with me in fact as the fields of rape are out now and are a very unRavilious fluorescent green, but very photogenic even so.

    • locksands Says:

      How lovely. I know the area quite well having spent a formative part of my childhood between Lewes and Eastbourne. It is a lovely part of the world and you see it at its best from the train.

  2. A train from on high | Locksands Life Says:

    […] My vantage point for the photo was on Bratton Camp, an ancient hill-top fort with a very steep slope on the hill. This slope is decorated by the Westbury White Horse, so this view might almost be seen as the opposite of the Eric Ravilious picture featured in March on my Ravilious calendar (click here). […]

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