Monday, 2 April 2018

Edward Ardizzone - part 1

Edward Ardizzone ( right )
Imperial War Museum, London
© IWM ( NA 14235 )

A highly sought after illustrator of his time, Edward Ardizzone successfully combined a fine art career with a commercial one. Alongside a very prolific career as an illustrator, working with all the major publishing houses, Ardizzone also spent time working as a war artist. His illustrative style combines simplicity and detail in a way that seems quintessentially English.

Ardizzone mainly illustrated children’s books, many of which, such as Tim All Alone (Oxford, 1956) he also wrote. He won the inaugural Kate Greenaway Prize for Tim All Alone, and went on to achieve a Commended runner up for the 1959 Greenaway Medal for his illustrations of Titus in Trouble for James Reeves.

He was born in 1900 in French Indo-China. His father, though of Italian parentage, was born in Algeria and therefore a French National. The family arrived in England in 1905. During 1919-26 Edward attended evening classes at Westminster School of Art. This was his only formal art training. In 1920 the family house was established at 130 Elgin Avenue, Maida Vale, London. Ardizzone married Catherine Anderson in 1929.

1929 also saw the publication of his first illustrated book, “In a Glass Darkly” by Sheridan Le Fanu. In 1930 his first one-man exhibition was held at the Bloomsbury Gallery. Through the 1930s Ardizzone had several one-man exhibitions and illustrated several children’s books, including the first “Little Tim” story in 1936.

Ardizzone was appointed Official War Artist in 1940 and travelled to France as a War Correspondent to record the British Expeditionary Force. Between 1942 and 45, he travelled to North Africa, Sicily and Italy, was at the Normandy Landings and also spent time in Germany. An extensive collection of his war pictures along with his wartime diaries can be found in the Imperial War Museum. National collections of paintings, manuscripts and lithographs can be seen at the Tate, London, and the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.


In 1953 he was commissioned to create a watercolour of the Queen’s Coronation. In 1954 he was commissioned by the Press Gallery to create a portrait of Sir Winston Churchill for presentation to him on his retirement. The artist was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 1970, and appointed CBE in 1971. He died in 1979.

This is part 1 of 15-part series on the works of Edward Ardizzone:


1929 In a Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu
Edward Ardizzone's first illustrated book:

1929 In a Glass Darkly
Dust jacket

1929 In a Glass Darkly
Title page

1929 In a Glass Darkly
Frontispiece

1929 In a Glass Darkly

1929 In a Glass Darkly

1929 In a Glass Darkly
*          *          *          *          *

1930-31c Airing the Children
watercolour, pen and ink 19.5 x 26.5 cm
Tate, London

1931 Miners on a Beach
pen and ink and watercolour 22 x 28 cm

1931 The Rake's Progress:

1931 The Rake's Progress
At the Brasserie
watercolour, pen and ink 15 x 22 cm
© Tate, London

1931 The Rake's ProgressThe Meeting 
watercolour, pen and ink 19 x 16 cm
© Tate, London

1931 The Rake's ProgressThe Arrival 
watercolour, pen and ink 15 x 18.5 cm
© Tate, London

1931 The Rake's ProgressThe Bedroom 
watercolour, pen and ink 17 x 33 cm
© Tate, London

1931 The Rake's ProgressThe Departure 
watercolour, pen and ink 17 x 21 cm
© Tate, London

c1835 Public Bar at the Royal Albert
watercolour, pen and ink

1936 Eagerly listening for the Cuckoo
pen and ink

1936 Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain
(The first of a series of Little Tim books):

1936 Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain
Front Cover

1936 Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain

1936 Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain

1936 Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain

1936 Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain

1936 Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain

1936 Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain

1936 Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain

1936 Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain

1936 Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain
left-hand page

1936 Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain
right-hand page

1936 Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain

1936 Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain

1937 Lucy Brown and Mr. Grimes by Edward Ardizzone:

1937 Lucy Brown and Mr. Grimes by Edward Ardizzone

1937 Lucy Brown and Mr. Grimes by Edward Ardizzone

Lucy Brown and Mr. Grimes by Edward Ardizzone
1970 edition

1937 "Grandma at Margate"
Radio Times 27 August 1937
pen and ink 15.2 x 27.9 cm
1937 Radio Times Competition
pen and ink 15 x 21.5 cm

1937 Tim and Lucy go to Sea

1937 Tim and Lucy go to Sea

1939 Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
"Pip has a visitor by night"
8 x 5.5. cm

1939 Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
"Pip on the Stairs"
8 x 5.5 cm

1939 The Local
Edward Ardizzone and Maurice Gorham:

1939 The Local
"Christmas Eve at the Warrington"

1939 The Local
"After Hours"

1939 The Local
"King's Wine House" original artwork
pencil, watercolour, pen and ink 17.8 x 14 cm

1939 The Local 
"King's Wine House" 

1939 The Local
"Saloon Bar at the Prince Alfred"

1939 The Local
"The Garden at the Red Lion"

1939 The Local
"The Jug and Bottle at the Green Man"

1939 The Local
"The Lord High Admiral"

1939 The Local
"The Private Bar at the Goat"

1939 The Local
"The Warwick Castle"

1939 The Local
"Domino Players"

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