In the last post, I mentioned the man with the marvelous name of Ravilious: Eric Ravilious. Here’s a picture of his that shows a typical pre-war train-seat pattern–apparently the late nineteen-thirties’ London art world was obsessed with train seats–he didn’t depict the light accurately (it’s much too light inside the carriage); but if he’d done it correctly, he wouldn’t have been able to show the seat fabric pattern so clearly, and that would be a shame since it covers about one-third of the picture surface.  I like the faint reflection in the glass of the seats.  Note the draught-stopping piece of moquette on either side of the door, piping with a barber’s-pole pattern.  I remember it, also the leather strap that suspended the window when it was opened.

Later, he did a lot of dark 2-colour prints for London Transport, but I suppose this picture was used to advertise the railway to the west country.  If the 3 stands for third class, then it looks good value for money.

In my last post I linked Eric Ravilious to a picture of his called Chalk Paths, I think it’s a watercolour:

I would like to have painted it myself.  With its very high horizon you look down across the contours of the ground; they are very precisely shown by tone, oblique grass patterns, the road, the paths and the fence.  The fence, the windswept bushes and the diminishing size of the trees show the scale of the receding landscape; without them, in other words,  you couldn’t judge the size of the hills.

Here are some more of his landscapes of the Downs in familiarly filthy weather.  That must be the Uffington White Horse at the brow of the hill; it’s very old (800-1200 B.C.) and it’s unusual for facing right:

The Westbury Horse has a little de Chirico train puffing across the background:

This is The Wilmington Giant, framed by enough wire to weave the cables of a suspension bridge:

But the first one is my favourite.

Eric Ravilious was killed in the second world war.  His son James Ravilious died in the ‘nineties.  He was a photographer, who documented life in a north Devon village.  I love his pictures too:

I have a book of them.

All the Eric Ravilious’s work I’ve shown is Copyright of the Estate of Eric Ravilious.

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