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Friday’s Library Snapshot …

April 12, 2013

Gwen Raverat (1885-1957), print maker and illustrator was also the wife of the French artist Jacques Raverat, daughter of George Darwin,  Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge and grand-daughter of the naturalist  Charles Darwin.  She studied at the Slade for three years from 1908 under the supervision of Henry Tonks, influenced by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists but soon developed her own style.  As described by Herbert Furst in The Modern Woodcut  ‘when she became interested in wood-cuts it was with an inborn dexterity … Mrs Raverat’s work is distinguished by that rare quality, creative imagination combined with a craftsmanship of originality and unusual skill. Whether she works with a knife or a graver, on soft or on hard wood, her technique is always in deep and instinctive sympathy with the material.  Her cuts are never drawings transferred to wood but seem to have been produced, as Rodin said he produced his sculpture, by merely removing irrelevant matter from the block so revealing what was already in it.  Her imagination ranges from the representation of the beauty of light in nature to the realisation of profound emotion and soaring fantasy’.

Gwen also illustrated a number of books including her classic childhood memoir Period Piece with line drawings.

Images from :-

Period piece : a Cambridge Childhood br Gwen Raverat

Gwendolen Raverat ; signed artist’s proofs; woodcuts by Mrs Raverat.

The London Bookbinders 1780-1806 with wood engraving by Gwendolen Raverat

by Ellic Howe

Mustard pepper and salt by Alison Uttley illustrated by Gwen Raverat.

Farmer’s glory by A.G. Street with decoration by Gwendolen Raverat

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