Eric Ravilious: The Chiswick Eyot, 1933
Eric Ravilious (1903–1942) was an English painter, designer, book illustrator and wood engraver. Born in Acton and schooled in Eastbourne, Ravilious studied at the Royal College of Art where he was influenced by Paul Nash and Edward Bawden.
Between 1930 and 1932 Ravilious and his wife Tirzah Garwood lived in Hammersmith – there is a blue plaque on their house at the corner of Upper Mall and Weltje Road, and from the front window there is a lovely view of the Thames which is shown in the image of the Chiswick Eyot that we have chosen.
Ravilious created many watercolours, engravings and lithographs, working for Jonathan Cape and the Curwen Press. One of his most famous images is the woodcut of two Victorian gentlemen playing cricket which illustrates every edition of Wisden’s Cricketers’ Almanac. He also created many designs for Wedgwood.
In 1939 Ravilious became a full-time, salaried war artist with the rank of Honorary Captain in the Royal Marines. He worked for the Royal Navy, travelling to Norway, Portsmouth, Scotland and York. In 1942 he flew to Reykjavik where his plane disappeared on a routine flight patrol on his first day of duty.
Acknowledgement: With thanks to Bridgeman Images.