Eric Ravilious – wood engraver

There may be some relieved to know that my monthly look at the work of artist Eric Ravilious via the calendar I was given at Christmas 2013 is over. Others may be pleased to know I’ll still feature my favourite artist from time to time. You see I was given the book ‘Imagined Realities’ which was produced to accompany a Ravilious exhibition some years ago. The book was written and compiled by Alan Powers and was published by the Imperial War Museum. If this seems a surprise then remember that Eric was an official war artist in World War II – a role which led to his death in 1943 when the plane he was on crashed into the North Atlantic near Iceland in 1943.

But the book covers the full gamut of Eric’s work and today we’ll look at a wood engraving from 1925 when young Ravilious was just about 22.

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This is clearly far removed from Eric’s watercolours but it is amazing how the essence of a scene can be captured in this way.

This image was called ‘Sussex Church’ – the artist wasn’t willing to precisely locate it. But I will. This is the artist view of Lullington Church, most of which had been destroyed by fire, probably in the seventeenth century.

Of course, Eric has been a little fanciful with trees but they add to the scene and frame the church very well.

Now it happens I have written a blog post about this church and that incorporated my grandfather’s photos taken in the 1920s. This is one of his photos

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 or click here to see that blog.

Clearly Eric tidied up the ivy but his church has to be Lullington.

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