Friday 10 March 2023

Ronald Searle - part 25

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 14-24 (series 2) 

This is part 25 of a 26-part series on the works of Ronald Searle:

1990-92 Crossed Paths - New Yorker magazine:

1990 Arcimboldo meets Mrs. Beeton 

1990 Baron von Münchhausen and P. T. Barnum

1990 Daisy Ashford meets Webster's 

1990 Edward Lear meets Douanier Rousseau

1990 Gargantua meets Jane Fonda

1990 Hemingway and Edgar Allan Poe 

1990 Kafka meets Lewis Carroll

1990 Little Red Riding Hood meets Beowulf 

1990 Omar Khayyám and Lawrence of Arabia

1990 Robinson Crusoe meets Man Sundae

1990 Thurber Meets Rembrandt

1991 Rip Van Winkle Meets Sleeping Beauty

1991 Omar Khayyam and Lawrence Of Arabia

1991 Munch Meets Beethoven

1991 Magritte meets William Tell

1991 Krazy Kat Meets Mickey Mouse

1991 Gargantua Meets Jane Fonda

1991 Edgar Allan Poe And Hemingway

1991 Boswell Meets Andy Warhol

1991 The Frog Prince Meets Brillat-Savarin

1991 The Hound of the Baskervilles meets Lassie

1991 Toulouse-lautrec Meets Don Quixote

1991 Whistler Meets Mother Goose

1992 Botticelli Meets Busby Berkeley

1992 Boudin meets Count Dracula

1992 Dali meets Narcissus

1992 De Gaulle meets Caesar

1992 Géricault Meets Izaak Walton

1992 Giacometti Meets Olive Oyl

1992 Icarus Meets the Ancient Mariner

1992 Isaac Newton meets Big Apple 

1992 Izaak Walton meets Géricault 

1992 Kafka meets The Beatles

1992 Laughing Cavalier meets the Cheshire Cat

1992 Little Bo-peep meets Ulysses

1992 Little Red Riding Hood meets Grandma Moses

1992 Manet Meets Nana

1992 Monet Meets Diamond Lily

1992 Seurat meets Pasteur

1992 The Brontë Sisters Meet Paris

1992 The Spectre de la Rose Meets Gertrude Stein

n.d. Manet meets Josef Von Sternberg
pen and ink 34 x 45.5 cm

1992 The Illustrated Winespeak:

A discernible touch of oak

A Little Overwhelming

Delicate, supple and flowing

Delightfully smoky aftertaste

Faint touch of bitterness

Full of effervescence and cheerfulness
(Plein d'effervescence et de gaité)

Has undergone noble rot

Has voluptuousness and charm in an earthy sort of way

Haunting Aroma

Lots of class and much in demand

Lots of body but supple

Lacks subtlety

Knit to a harmonious whole

Interesting depth of flavour

Intense, aromatic, beaucoup de corps (lots of body)

Healthy, but a bit sweaty

On the light and forward side

Overripeness coupled with some tartness

Rather backward

Rather special

Really quite forward

Ripe, but lacks concentration