Sunday, 10 May 2015

White Horse Hill, Berkshire

I am looking forward to a visit to the Eric Ravilious exhibition (curated by James Russell at the Dulwich Gallery), which includes some of his watercolours of chalk hill figures.   Meanwhile I pulled out my copy of this 1947 Puffin with its view of the Uffington White Horse, which I was taken to see as a child.

The specially commissioned cover design for Puffin Story Books is by William Grimond, who was one of the artists chosen for Kenneth Clark's wartime project, "Recording Britain"* .  It's possible that he visited the author Barbara Euphan Todd (creator of Worzel Gummidge) at Blewbury, nearby.

Eric Ravilious was taught by  Paul Nash, who took this photo on the Berkshire hillside in 1937:

The White Horse, Uffington   Paul Nash   1937
© Estate of Paul Nash/Tate Gallery London

and here is Ravilious's atmospheric watercolour of the Uffington white horse disappearing over the hilltop,  painted in 1939, also in the Tate Gallery collection (but currently away on loan).

The Vale of the White Horse Eric Ravilious 1939
©  Tate Gallery London

* the collection given by the Pilgrim Trust to the V&A.

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