Customer Review

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous Ravilious, 17 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Eric Ravilious (Hardcover)
This really is a rather wonderful book! It has 5 chapters: one covering the all too brief life including interesting material on his artistic education; a section on books and prints; then watercolours, design and finishing with Ravilious as a war artist. There is also an interesting conclusion which focuses on Ravilious' place in British (English?) art.

Ravilious' work always seems to me to embody something quintessentially English, both for good and ill: it accounts for its charm and its limitations. There is a nostalgia which is both restricting and yet deeply attractive. As Powers himself puts it, "Modernism seems to have happened almost unnoticed by Ravilious, as if in another room" and he recognises a sort of 'middle-of-the-road' quality which it is hard to deny. However, as the title of the conclusion suggests {'English Eden with "a biting edge"), there is something a little more complex at work which this volume ably illustrates.

Those who share the 21st century surge in interest in the artist will be very pleased with this nicely produced and prolifically illustrated book by an acknowledged authority. Though Ravilious' work is never going to set the world alight, it certainly warms my heart and is a delightful feast for the eye. It also provokes the inevitable emotions one feels when considering the output of one who died too young,as well as tantalising questions about the work which might have been.

Strongly recommended!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Dec 2013 06:38:31 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Dec 2013 14:01:13 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Jun 2014 11:03:07 BDT
'Need one say more?' Well, I'm glad you agree with so much of my review!

However, your final observation seems as redundant (and graceless!) as taking a wrecking ball to a dandelion clock: no one is ever going to confuse Ravilious with, say, Rothko. I'm happy to be able to appreciate both for their vastly different qualities and cultural significance. How unfortunate to feel that an interest in either should preclude an interest in the other, and so superciliously communicated!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Feb 2014 09:16:15 GMT
Interesting that 0 out of 5 thought your comment useful. Summed up well by S.J. Williams as 'redundant and graceless', I imagine that may well reflect your character, as well as your review.
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Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom

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