Friday 3 March 2023

Ronald Searle - part 22

The son of a railwayman, Ronald Searle was born in Cambridge on 3 March 1920, and educated in the town at the Boys' Central School. He started work as a solicitor's clerk, and then joined the hire purchase department of the co-operative Society, studying in the evenings and later full-time at the Cambridge Daily News from the age of fifteen.

Enlisting in the Royal Engineers at the outbreak of the Second World War, he spent time in Kirkcudbright, where he encountered evacuees from St. Trinian's, a progressive girls' school situated in Edinburgh.

This resulted in his first cartoon for Lilliput, published in October 1941, and later developed into one of his most famous creations, through a series of books and their cinematic spin-offs. Remarkably, he survived the horrific experiences of the Changi Camp, Singapore as a Japanese prisoner-of-war and managed to produce a visual record of life in a prison camp.

On his return to England in 1945, he exhibited the surviving pictures at the Cambridge School of Art, and published Forty Drawings. The exhibition and volume together established his reputation as one of Britain's most powerful draughtsmen, and led to several opportunities to record the atmosphere of post-war Europe. He contributed to Punch and these drawings crystallised in, The Female Approach (1949). Throughout the fifties, he produced a large variety of illustrations, which together seemed present a guide to life in Britain in the 1950's.

Such was his success that his rejection of family and country in a move to Paris in 1961 came as a great surprise. However, it offered a fresh start, resulting in several solo shows, including a major exhibitions at the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, the Berlin-Dahlem Museum and the Wilhelm-Busch-Museum, Hanover. He also reached a new audience with his contributions to film and television, most notably The Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965).

Note: Searle did too many works to post in one series, so I am posting them in two separate series: 1940-1960, and 1961-2007.

For a more detailed biography see part 1, and for earlier works, see parts 1 - 13 (series 1) & parts 14-21 (series 2) 

This is part 22 of a 26-part series on the works of Ronald Searle:

1983 How to Open a Bottle of Wine: 

1983 The Illustrated Winespeak:

Ages beautifully

Bacchus & Co.

Coarse but generous

Distinctive nose

Full bodied, with great character

Full, fruity character

Gay and sprightly

Generally a little loose

Lacks Subtlety

Lots of class and much in demand

Not a lot of depth but has substance

Pleasantly scented, very agreeable

Ripe but lacks concentration

Should remain in cellar for two or three years

Somewhat lacking in finesse


1983 Wine Ceremonies of the World:

Wine Ceremonies of the World
Uncorking the Kangarouge

Wine Ceremonies of the World
Traditional Ceremony of Facing up to Room Temperature

Wine Ceremonies of the World
Frustrating Ceremony of Trying to Round-up Square Grapes

Wine Ceremonies of the World
The Annual Non-Arrival of the English Grape Ceremony

Wine Ceremonies of the World
Annual Festival of Welcome to Italian Wines

Wine Ceremonies of the World
The Ancient, Noble and Secret Ceremony of Slashing the Trockenbeerenauslese

Wine Ceremonies of the World
Historical but somewhat yucky ceremony of Pulling Out the Finger

Wine Ceremonies of the World
The European Community
Non-stop Festival of Sour Grapes

Wine Ceremonies of the World
Blessing the Grapes, California Style

Wine Ceremonies of the World
Touching and rather dampish Ceremony of Wailing O’er the Wine

Wine Ceremonies of the World
Inauguration of the First Authentic and Indisputable
Denominazione de Origine Controllata e Garantita

Wine Ceremonies of the World
Everyday Ceremony of Trying to Stand Up to Manana

Wine Ceremonies of the World
 Annual Ceremony of Accepting the Kremlin Rouge

Wine Ceremonies of the World
The Squeezing of the Bonnie Malted Grap

Wine Ceremonies of the World
South Africa
Colurful ceremony of Offering Limited Recognition to the Black Grape

Wine Ceremonies of the World
Ancient Festival of Hoofing the Rioja

Wine Ceremonies of the World
Legendary rites hailing the apparition of the Noble Rot

1986 Ozzie Winespeak:

A Good Reliable Style
pen and ink, coloured pencils and watercolour on wove paper 
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA

A Little Forward in Character

Frequently Drunk Long Before Reaching Their Potential

May Appeal to Those Who Like the Fuller Style

Needs a Lift on the Nose

Needs More Time to Round Out

Rather Unusual

Slightly Oily Palate

The Cup

Very Impressive Drinking Style