High Street, Eric Ravilious


The famous book about shops containing twenty-four lithographs by Eric Ravilious.


High Street, Eric Ravilious

High Street has become one of the most highly regarded artist’s illustrated books of its time. This is high quality facsimile reproduction of the book was published by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in 2012.

High Street is a book about shops and contains twenty-four lithographs by Eric Ravilious (1903-1942).

Shops have always been a central part of British life, they form the heart of our towns, villages and cities. They brighten our streets and entice us with their glowing colours and displays. Eric Ravilious saw the beauty of these shops and began to float the idea of the book.

The 1938 book

The original book was published in London by Country Life Books in 1938. It was written by J.M. Richards (1907-1992) and illustrated by Ravilious. The reputation of Eric Ravilious has grown considerably, and his work is much sought after by collectors. This book with its beautiful lithographs is now considered one of Eric Ravilious’ finest pieces of artwork and design.

High Street was slow to evolve as a project. Ravilious had been working with the Curwen Press, an innovative printing company that was encouraging and enabling artists to master the beauty of lithography as an art form, and it was here that Ravilious saw the potential for this book.

In the UK in the 1930s lithography became a printing process much loved by artists, and in the hands of many artists and skilled printers wonderful prints, posters and books were produced. Working on lithographic stones, or plates, an artist would draw directly in a way that allowed them to overlay colour and capture the immediacy of touch. It was a technique that created rich and colourful overlaid images. Eric Ravilious mastered this process, and his skills in lithography created this unique and beautiful book.

This facsimile

This facsimile reproduction of High Street has been beautifully reproduced. It starts without an introduction and is then followed by an Afterword by Gill Saunders telling the story behind the original book.

Condition: The hardback cover has slight scuffing at the base. The inside pages are clean and bright. The book feels as if has hardly been read. No dust jacket.

If you have any questions about this copy or would like to see more images please get in touch.

Read our article on the beauty of lithographic printing and other artists’ work.

See more of our illustrated books.

Read more about collecting illustrated books.

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