Wiltshire Museum (Devizes, UK): Eric Ravilious: Downland Man
- Eric Ravilious 1903–1942
- Graphite and watercolour on paper
- Support: 451 × 324 mm
frame: 587 × 690 × 50 mm
- Purchased 1940
N05164 THE VALE OF THE WHITE HORSE c. 1939
Inscr. ‘Eric Ravilious’ t.r.
Watercolour, 17 3/4×21 3/4 (45×55·3).
Purchased from the artist through the Leicester Galleries (Knapping Fund) 1940.
Exh: Eastbourne and Brighton, 1948 (35); Arts Council, 1948–9 (49); Sheffield, 1958 (16).
This appears to be the White Horse on White Horse Hill, Uffington, Berkshire. The current view is that it was probably made as a tribal emblem towards the end of the first century B.C. or the earliest part of the first century A.D. The design resembles the animal figures of Iron Age times and similar horses are to be found on coins of British tribes of that date, including the Atrebates of Berkshire.
There is a watercolour by the artist of the chalk horse and rider at Weymouth in the Massey Collection, National Gallery of Canada.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II
The artist Francis Towne’s near abstract eighteenth-century watercolours of Swiss glaciers were to inspire Eric Ravilious more than a century …