Sat, 30 May 2015
Eric Ravilious at Dulwich

I almost didn't go, but seeing such different journalists as Peter Hitchens (Mail) and Ian Jack (Guardian) give such high praise changed my mind. It's always a pleasure visiting the Dulwich Picture Gallery and this time I also took a look around the surrounding area a bit.

Eric Ravilious was only 39 when he died, coming down in a plane somewhere in the North Atlantic in 1942. He ended his life as an official war artist. His pictures are mainly watercolour and pencil, with a muted palette but a certain lightness watercolour is so good at expressing.

The lovely thing about his paintings is the bygone world it represents, perhaps a particular Englishness. There's a feel for a civilised suburban middle-class existence in the 30's, a world that was wiped out by the devastating interruption of the Second World War and its aftermath. A lot lost, not just in human lives. It seems almost mythical now.

Train Landscape, 1939 :

Chalk Paths, 1935 :

The Wesbury Horse, 1939 :