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Illustrators in Focus:
Edward Ardizzone

The second of our weekly features of selected artists from this year's exhibition focuses on one of the greatest illustrators of the twentieth century,
Edward Ardizzone

As undoubtedly one of the greatest illustrators of the past 100 years, the work of Edward Ardizzone has been a key feature of almost every annual Illustrators exhibition for almost 30 years. 

This year has been one of our strongest chapters of Ardizzone drawings and watercolours to date, with almost 40 works spanning his career, from drawings for The Strand Magazine, Radio Times and Punch,  to illustrations to children's books such as Titus in Trouble, Diana and her Rhinoceros, Dick Whittington and Ship's Cook Ginger. Much of this year's chapter has come from the collection of Judy Taylor MBE, Children's Editor for Bodley Head publishing house, who work closely with Edward Ardizzone for many years.

Highly observant and immensely humane, the work of Edward Ardizzone is in direct descent from the finest French and English illustrators of the nineteenth century. 

Developing as an artist from 1930, Ardizzone made his name as an illustrator through his contributions to the Radio Times and then with Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain, which proved to be one of the most significant picture books from between the wars. Versatile and productive, he produced paintings, sculptures, etchings and lithographs, and worked as a designer.

He began his career as a painter and illustrator exhibiting in solo shows at the Bloomsbury (1930) and Leger Galleries (1931-36). Synthesising the bulk of Meninsky’s figures with the humour and facility of French and English illustrators, he moved from the tight, sinister vignettes of In a Glass Darkly (1929) to a more typically generous draughtsmanship, achieving widespread recognition with Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain (1936), the first of the books that he both wrote and illustrated.

Ardizzone reached a particularly wide public through his contributions to periodicals. His drawings for Radio Times first appeared in 1932, and he was chosen in the same year to design the cover of the Christmas issue. He was also closely associated with the Strand magazine, providing a series of coloured drawings of Londoners in 1942, and drawing all except one of the covers between October 1946 and December 1947. 

Soon considered as one of the greatest illustrators of his generation, he also gained a reputation as a distinguished Official War Artist, through his record in word and image of action in Europe and North Africa.

After the Second World War, Ardizzone worked increasingly as an illustrator of literary classics, and collaborated closely with a number of contemporary authors, including James Reeves. A teacher of illustration at Camberwell School of Art and of etching at the Royal College of Art (1953-61), he won several prizes including the Carnegie Medal (1955), the Hans Christian Andersen Medal (1956) for Farjeon’s The Little Bookroom, and the first Kate Greenaway Award (1956) for Tim All Alone. Working additionally as painter, sculptor, lithographer and designer, he was elected to the membership of the Society of Industrial Artists (1947) and the Royal Academy (ARA 1962, RA 1970). He was created CBE in 1971, and a Royal Designer for Industry three years later. Living in Maida Vale for most of his career, he spent an increasing amount of his final decade in Kent, and died in that county on 8 November 1979.
In addition to the works on display as part of this year's Illustrators exhibition, the Chris Beetles Gallery has an extensive range of Ardizzone artwork available to view, on request.

This includes a number of illustrations to books such as Ann at Highwood Hall and Brief to Counsel.

Our full stock of available artwork by Edward Ardizzone can be viewed via the button below. To arrange an appointment to view Ardizzone's illustrations, please CONTACT the gallery.
View Available Works by Edward Ardizzone
Copyright © 2019 Chris Beetles Ltd, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Chris Beetles Gallery
8 & 10 Ryder Street
St James's
London SW1Y 6QB

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