ERIC RAVILIOUS – Submarine Engineer, 1938
Sheet size: 230x145 mm
Image size: 145x135 mm
Edition: 2000 – Unsigned
Original colour lithograph by Eric Ravilious, depicting the shop of Siebe Gorman & Co. in Westminster Bridge Road. In his essay "Street Talk" in issue 15 of the magazine Illustration, Alan Powers points out that this was the shop from which Edward James hired the diving suit worn by Salvador Dalí at the opening of the International Surrealist Exhibition in 1936 (Dalí was nearly asphyxiated); it would be nice to think that Ravilious's lithograph shows the very suit. Printed on wove paper at the Curwen Press. From High Street, published in 1938 by Country Life Books in an unnumbered edition of 2000 copies (according to the meticulously researched The Story of High Street by Alan Powers and James Russell, Mainstone Press, 2008). The publisher of the Country Life list was Noel Carrington, brother of the Bloomsbury artist Dora Carrington. Carrington first commissioned a text to accompany the lithographs, which Ravilious had worked on independently at Curwen during 1936 and 1937, from the journalist Hamish Miles. Miles's untimely death at the end of 1937 meant a new text had to be commissioned from Ravilious's friend J. M. Richards, deputy editor of the Architectural Review; a photocopy of Jim Richards' text relating to this lithograph will be included. The lithographic stones were destroyed by bombing in 1941. This lithograph is bright and fresh. Condition: Excellent.