In recent years Eric Ravilious has become recognized as one of the most important British artists of the 20th century, whose work captures an essential sense of place and the spirit of mid-century England. What is less appreciated is that he did not work in isolation, but within a much wider network of artists, friends and lovers – Edward Bawden, Barnett Freedman, Enid Marx, Tirzah Garwood, Percy Horton, Peggy Angus and Helen Binyon among them. Andy Friend tells the story of this group of artists from their student days through to the Second World War and Ravilious’s untimely death, revealing how they influenced each other and how a shared experience animated their work.
Generously illustrated and drawing on extensive research, Ravilious & Co. is an enthralling narrative of creative achievement, joy and tragedy.
'The book is magnificent. I can’t recommend it enough ... Andy Friend seems to have opened new vistas on the lives, loves and connections of this mesmerising and migrant artist – right up to his last fatal flight off Iceland in 1942'
'Shrewdly and sympathetically charts the wide-ranging influence of this group and their personal and professional relationships'
'A fascinating slice of English artistic and social history'
New York Review of Books
'A lovingly researched and crafted portrait of intricately connected creative lives... New voices emerge from the archives, unfamiliar images light up the pages. Here, above all, is the joyous making of art'
Alexandra Harris, author of Weatherland
'One of the best biographies this year … a lovely account'
'Adds much new detail and factual fine-tuning to our picture of national, in contrast to international, modern art in interwar Britain'