Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Eric Ravilious - Drawn to War

While the cabinet was falling apart this evening I was at the Showcase in Leicester watching Drawn to War, a biographical film about the artist Eric Ravilious. There weren't many other people there - I suspect this is more one for the Phoenix crowd.

I enjoyed the film greatly. It's wonderful to see Ravilious's paintings on the big screen - in the remarkably varied palette he got from his watercolours he reminds me of another of my favourite artists, John Sell Cotman.

Ravilious died at the age of 39 when his aeroplane disappeared off Iceland in 1942 - he was serving as a war artist.

We are told the story of his life through the letters between him and his wife Tirzah Garwood and through the memories of his daughter and those of a friend of the Ravilious children. Some high-class talking heads tell us of the significance of his work and there are a few short dramatised scenes with a boy playing the young Ravilious.

It's certainly true the Ravilious's reputation has been steadily rising for years, but I'm not convinced he was quite as forgotten as the film tells us.

His paintings may not have been known, but his designs for Wedgwood were celebrated and, from the way they seem to anticipate the art of the 1950s, must have been influential.

There's a page on the Dartmouth Films site giving the details of screenings of Drawn to War around the country. Catch it if you can.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Delighted to see Ravilious getting so much attention these days - I wonder why there's this sudden up-tick in interest? The exhibitions in Devizes and Winchester earlier this year were first class (albeit a little on the small side) and the film sounds like an excellent study. I hope it remains easily available in future - diary clashes have prevented me from seeing it so far.