This talk explores White Horses, Eric Ravilious’ ‘lost’ Puffin Picture Book, it’s context within Ravilious’ work and that of his contemporaries, and now it’s final flowering.
The story of Eric Ravilious’ lost Puffin has captivated fans and researchers for decades. In 1939 Ravilious set off on a whirlwind tour of the chalk figures of the Downs, painting those atmospheric watercolours that have become to define his work, and almost the Downs themselves.
The watercolours were intended for a title in the Puffin Picture Book series, at that time in the planning stages. Although the book reached dummy stage, Ravilious’ workload as an Official War Artist, coupled with a new addition to Ravilious’ family, resulted in the book’s postponement.
Tragically Ravilious was lost to the art world when the ‘plane he had taken a ride in vanished over Iceland in 1942 and the Puffin never materialised. Now, at last, here is a re-imagining of White Horses, based on Ravilious’ 1941 dummy, placing his atmospheric watercolours of the Downland chalk figures in their original intended context. They are accompanied by drawings from contemporary illustrator Alice Pattullo who has added the black and white drawings that Ravilious never returned to complete.
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