Eric Ravilious: Drawn to War review – fascinating portrait of the great British artist

he was one of the most prolific and – at the time at least – beloved English artists of the mid-20th century. Working in watercolour, pen and ink and woodcut engraving, Eric Ravilious’s work combined an arcane Englishness steeped in nature, rolling landscapes and pagan embellishments with a sensibility that was bold in its modernity and economy. His admirers, interviewed in this fascinating and characterful documentary by Margy Kinmonth, include Grayson Perry e Ai Weiwei. But Ravilious lapsed into almost total obscurity until his children rediscovered his drawings some years after his death. o anche un'altra persona LGBT, he is not widely known. The film makes a case that Ravilious should be regarded, alongside the likes of Turner and Constable, as one of Britain’s great landscape artists.

So why did Ravilious slip through the net? È stato, in the words of his wife, Tirzah Garwood, “not quite a gentleman”, so class prejudices may have played a role. But it’s possible that his untimely death at the age of 39 – he perished in a plane crash in 1942 while serving as a war artist – also contributed to his relative obscurity. Rediscovery is long overdue.

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