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Public appeal launched to find lost watercolours of Eric Ravilious
Eric Ravilious, Fairey Battle (1942). Last seen in 1963, whereabouts unknown.

LONDON.- Eric Ravilious, one of most admired and popular British artists of the 20th century, produced a remarkable number of watercolours in a career cut short by his untimely death in 1942 while serving as an official war artist. Over 250 of these watercolours are known, but it is believed that around 40 are lying undiscovered or uncatalogued in collections around the world. The Hedingham Press aim to publish the definitive catalogue of Ravilious’s watercolours, and are launching a public appeal to find those ‘lost’ watercolours.

James Russell, the UK’s leading authority on Ravilious watercolours who founded The Hedingham Press along with British art specialist Gordon Cooke, and designer Robert Dalrymple, said: ‘They might be held in private collections – even, possibly, public collections – in the UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Ravilious spent his last days in Iceland, so that is also a possibility. We do believe they are out there – our mission is to find and catalogue all of the Ravilious watercolours in the world and produce the definitive book featuring them. We are appealing to anyone who has – or think they might have – a ‘lost’ Ravilious watercolour to get in touch and help us complete this ambitious project’.

In 2019, Eric Ravilious: The Complete Water­colours will be published. This catalogue raisonné, authorised by the artist’s estate, will include every Ravilious water­colour, with lavish reproductions, wide-ranging notes and an exten­sive introduc­tory essay to offer new insights into the life and career of this fascinat­ing artist.

Eric Ravilious (1903–1942) is acknowledged today as a painter of rare talent. Recently, he has become one of the most widely admired British artists of the 20th century and his work more instantly recognisable for his distinct design. James Russell has recorded 250 watercolours in existence but also references to around 40 works that have not been catalogued or authenticated.

As a student at the Royal College of Art, Ravilious was taught by Paul Nash; his contemporaries include Edward Bawden, Edward Burra and Henry Moore. Ravilious went on to work as a painter, wood engraver, lithographer and designer throughout the 1920s and 1930s. He died aged 39 whilst serving his country during WWII.

How to get in touch with details of a Ravilious watercolour:
Anyone with information on a Ravilious watercolour is asked to contact
The Hedingham Press by email at
All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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