In the introduction to his 1983 book, Eric Ravilious: Memoir of an Artist, Richard Morphet wrote that Ravilious has ‘always been appreciated and enjoyed, but as time passes it becomes increasingly clearer that his stature was greater than had been admitted’.

A painter, illustrator and designer whose works were by turns humorous and meditative, the Sussex-born artist had established himself as one of Britain’s leading artist-designers before his career was tragically cut short when an aircraft he was in crashed while he was serving as a war artist. These two scrapbooks – one a traditional scrapbook containing works by Ravilious, his wife Eileen Lucy ‘Tirzah’ Ravilious and friend Edward Bawden, the other a collection of printer’s proofs – provide a fascinating insight into Ravilious’s working methods, revealing how he married art with design and commercial interests. The material ranges from watercolours painted by him aged 13 to final pre-production proofs of works created late in the artist’s career. The Fry Art Gallery has a growing collection of artists’ scrapbooks, including examples from Bawden and his fellow Great Bardfield artist Marianne Straub. Along with Bawden, Ravilious is one of the two key artists in the gallery’s North West Essex collection, and the ephemera, preparatory drawings and finished works contained within these albums give unparalleled insights into the work of this major 20th-century artist.


By descent through the artistÂ’s family.

Back to top