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Eric Ravilious: Downland Man exhibition

Wiltshire Museum, 41 Long Street, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1NS
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The exhibition will offer a new view of Eric Ravilious (1903-42) as a chronicler of the chalk downland landscapes he knew better than any other. From his student days until the last year of his life, Ravilious returned again and again to the Downs, inspired particularly by the relationship between landscape and people.

The exhibition features more than 20 works borrowed from national collections and private collectors, including iconic watercolours such as The Westbury Horse and The Wilmington Giant, alongside other rarely-seen works.

Central to the exhibition are several of Ravilious's best-loved watercolours of chalk figures made in 1939 in preparation for a children's book, Downland Man. The book was never completed, and for many years the prototype or 'dummy' made by Ravilious was believed lost. When it resurfaced in 2012 this precious item was bought at auction by Wiltshire Museum. It will be included in the exhibition alongside some of the artist's watercolours, aerial photographs, annotated Ordnance Survey maps, postcards and books that relate to the Ravilious works on show - material drawn largely from Wiltshire Museum's own collection.

Eric Ravilious: Downland Man is curated by James Russell, previously curator of the 2015 blockbuster Ravilious at Dulwich Picture Gallery. He said 'I studied History at Cambridge and I'm always intrigued by the social and cultural context of artists' work. When it comes to downland history and archaeology Wiltshire Museum has an unrivalled collection, making this exhibition a unique opportunity to shed new light on Ravilious – an artist who is well-known these days but still little understood. With watercolours such as 'Chalk Paths' and 'The Vale of the White Horse' on display, visitors are in for a treat.'

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Guide Prices

£6.50 adults (with Gift Aid), £5.50 concessions (with Gift Aid). Online booking available to avoid queue.

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Opening Times

Season (25 Sept 2021 - 30 Jan 2022)

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