Eric Ravilious: Memoir of an Artist

By Helen Binyon

An extensively illustrated portrait of one of the leading English artists of the inter-war period, who produced a major body of work in a variety of media.

ISBN: 9780718895587


Eric Ravilious was among the foremost of English artists to emerge between the wars – and one of the great original wood engravers. His body of work was wide-ranging and multi-faceted; in his relatively short career after he left the Royal College of Art he produced an extraordinary amount of work – murals, watercolours, wood engravings, lithographs, pottery designs for Wedgwood. Successful and enterprising as he was in these diverse fields, it was in the field of landscape painting in watercolour that Ravilious excelled. His tragic and untimely death in 1942, while on service as an Official War Artist, meant that his great promise was never fulfilled and it has been left to Helen Binyon to present this fascinating study of the artist to a world largely unaware of his presence. The author knew Ravilious well from their student days and has been able to draw upon her intimate knowledge of this vivid and exciting artist to make this a compelling account of a genius.

Eric Ravilious is introduced by Richard Morphet, former Keeper of Modern Art at the Tate Gallery, who places Ravilious in the context of modern-day appreciation of his work and describes the close relationship between Eric Ravilious and Helen Binyon, which led her to write this illuminating book.

The book is lavishly illustrated with examples of Ravilious’s work from his student days to his powerfully realised drawings and paintings as an Official War Artist.

Additional information

Dimensions 256 × 185 mm
Pages 144
Illustrations b&w and colour

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Trade Information LGEN

About the Author

Helen Binyon (1904-1979) was a notable wood engraver and watercolour painter. She studied at the Royal College of Art (1922-1926), where she first met Eric Ravilious. They formed part of a large group of friends and colleagues among whom can be counted some of the leading artists and designers of their generation: Edward Bawden, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, and many others. Paul Nash, who taught both Helen and Eric Ravilious at that time, called them “an outbreak of talent”.

Helen Binyon maintained a close friendship with Eric Ravilious for the rest of his life. With her sister Margaret she developed the Binyon Books for children, which she illustrated and Margaret wrote. Early in her career she developed a passionate interest in puppeteering, and ran a travelling puppet show until the outbreak of the Second World War. From 1950-1965 she lectured and taught at the Bath Academy of Art. In her later years she lived with her sister in Chichester, where she wrote this memoir.


Foreword by Sir John Rothenstein
Eric Ravilious and Helen Binyon, by Richard Morphet

Chapters One to Ten



Endorsements and Reviews

This book will surely afford widespread pleasure: Eric Ravilious remains one of the most ardently admired members of a generation marked by outstanding talent, and Helen Binyon, a fellow student and intimate friend until the end of his life, was by far the best qualified to write it.
Sir John Rothenstein, art historian and former director of the Tate Gallery