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Ravilious, Eric (English, b.1903, d.1942)
The Young Men in the Fiery Furnace
wood engraving
180 x 126 mm image size
105-1953
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Given 1953 by Mr Rex Nan Kivell of the Redfern Gallery, London.
Eric Ravilious was born in Acton and studied at the Eastbourne Art School. In 1922 he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, where he studied under Sir William Rothenstein and Paul Nash. Nash introduced Ravilious to the Society of Wood Engravers, through which he obtained his first commission for illustrations from the Golden Cockerel Press. In 1930 Ravilious became a teacher in the Design School of the Royal College of Art. He was among the most prolific, accomplished and sought-after illustrators of the fine book revitalisation between the wars. Early in World War II Ravilious offered his services as an official war artist, and completed a series of lithographs of submarines. He was killed in 1942, on a flight to Iceland, while recording naval operations.
The Song of the Three Holy Children in the burning fiery furnace and the Angel of the Lord coming down into the Oven was produced for an edition of the Apocrypha published by the Cresset Press in 1929, and printed at the Curwen Press. Each of the fourteen chapters was illustrated by a different artist. The edition was limited to 450 copies on mould-made paper and 30 copies on hand-made paper. Ravilious’ illustration shows the dramatic use of unconventional spatial arrangements, and rough, dynamic cuts, which made his work popular with publishers and readers.

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