Saturday, April 18, 2015

Jane Eyre and the Other Mr. R (Eric Ravilious)

Updated below.

The minute I saw this painting by Eric Ravilious (1939; thank you, Selvedge Magazine!), I fell in love with it.

The image anticipates the carriage (2011) within which Jane Eyre rides to a bittersweet freedom from the deceit of Thornfield Hall.

I love the upholstery, the burnished wood interior, the bleached landscape. Oh, to be transported there immediately!

But I'd be running to this Mr. R.

P.S. I had a nagging feeling that I'd seen this image before; it just felt familiar. A quick internet search showed that I had--and even commented on it back in 2009. Good to see that my taste is consistent, even if my memory isn't.

And here's the book to which I was referring in the comments section; for Mater. When I worked in New York for a wonderful publishing company, we distributed Thames and Hudson books, and I scooped up this one, not knowing how it would be relevant some 17 years later.


Jen Lawrence said...

That's gorgeous.

materfamilias said...

That's an enchanting image -- the congruity between colours inside the train car and through its windows. . . and that chalk horse! I love it all! And it's good to see you here again.

Miss Cavendish said...

Thank you both for visiting and commenting! I'm hoping that my fall sabbatical will enable me to blog again in earnest (while taking a break from my academic project, of course!).

materfamilias said...

So interesting -- in that kind of odd synchronicity the universe occasionally offers, within hours of reading your post and learning of Mr. Ravilious, I turned the page in Robert McFarlane's The Old Ways (a wonderful, wonderful book if you're at all interested in walking, natural history, all so beautifully written and so eruditely) and there was a decent-sized section on the artist and on his predilection for walking, for landscapes that seemed to overlay perspectives, even worlds, that didn't quite cohere, a sense of suspended mobility, McFarlane says. And here we are, this magic, and the chalk horse . . . Thank you!

Miss Cavendish said...

Serendipitous! On one of my bookshelves, there should be a small picture book about walking in England, in which that white horse is featured. I'd really forgotten about it, but your comment brought it back.

materfamilias said...

Apparently, he was asked to document (as a war artist during WWII) the covering-up with turf of the chalk horse (for fear it would offer a target to German bombers, in all its whiteness)

Jennifer Zinn said...

If you're interested, there's a great Facebook group devoted to Ravilious' work:
Also, St. Jude's Prints highlights a bunch of artists with similar sensibilities to Ravilious: