The wonderful world of Eric Ravilious

August 20, 2012 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

The best thing about art is experiencing the world through someone else’s eyes – for example, most of us can never really know what the streets of Britain were like in the 1930s, but we have a window into that world through the illustrations of artists like Eric Ravilious. I recently got a reprint of his 1938 artist book High Street because I love his lithographs and also loved the book’s concept of visiting all the businesses one might find on the ‘high street’. Only 2000 copies of the original book were published before the lithographic plates were destroyed in the London Blitz so an original copy would be hot property.

The book takes us to 24 establishments, from the highbrow (the oyster bar) to the everyday (the cheesemonger, and the baker and confectioner) – and as you can see from the knife grinder below (one of my favourites) it tells the story behind each shop along with beautiful full-colour pictures. Delightful!

High Street illustration

If you love this style of illustration, you should also check out Yorkshire artist Emily Sutton – you’ll find pics of her high street sculptures on her website, and while you’re there don’t miss her amazing fabric songbird sculptures.

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Entry filed under: art, Books. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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