January 17, 2012

Eric Ravilious - Snow!

        We have snow here, for the first time this winter (not counting that crazy October snow, because that wasn't winter yet.)  P and T were outside as soon as they got up this morning, trying to make snow horses before they had to head off to school.  This has got to be the first winter I've ever experienced in which there was no snow until mid-January, so instead of being sick of snow already, as we normally would be by now, it's a fun winter novelty.
        In honor of the snow, and of the fact that I refilled some bird feeders this morning after seeing T and P off on their booted and mittened way, I feature here today two pleasing little wood block prints by Eric Ravilious.
        Ravilious (1903 - 1942) was mostly known for murals, watercolors, and designs for Wedgewood ceramics.  Of his wood block prints one review of a 2010 show of his work said, "they are minor creation. They are essentially book-plate emblems, with at best an antiquarian charm. They are heavily blacked in, decorative, heraldic, cramped
and neat. The figures are wooden. The views are artificial. The subjects are either stiff or twee. Avoid them. It's the sort of thing people like to take classes in."  Ouch.  (Not just for Ravilious, but for those amateurs who dare to take classes in something best left to True Artistes who rate the Art World's approval!)  Anyway, I'm not crazy about all of Ravilious's work that I found on-line, but I find these two particular prints delightful.

[Pictures: Snow, wood block print by Eric Ravilious, 1932;
Swallows, wood block print by Eric Ravilious, 1932.
Images from Modern British Gallery.]
Quotation from The Independent, 13 July, 2010.


Pax said...

I agree that these two prints are delightful. What is it with art critics who think they can pontificate for the world when the "value" of so much art really is in the eye of the beholder, and therefore quite subjective. Thanks for continuing to bring us information on artists in the print medium who (to my ignorant self) are unknown.

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

It is an interesting phenomenon that some opinions seem to be worth so much more than others. Still, here I am spouting mine on this blog, so... *shrug.* Just remember that while experts can teach us to see and appreciate new things, we should never allow our own feelings to be denied.