I came across a woodcut by artist #GwendolenMarieRaverat (nee Darwin) 1895-1957, this past week. Again from a charity shop but it was in their trash bin ready to be disposed of. It was a little damp (no long lasting damage) and had a small taped over tear (not what should happen). So, I paid my £1 for this piece of ‘trash’. In reality, this woodcut was bought in 1973 at the exhibition put on by The Wren Gallery, Cambridge commemorating her works. It is not signed or titled maybe making it a trial pressing, possibly.
The woodcut is called #PoplarsinFrance and comes from early in her career. Her first woodcuts come from around 1905 and she soon excelled in this medium. Her formal training was done at the Slade School (1908 -1910) after which she moved (1915) along with her husband and two daughters to France. Except for 1915 to 1928, Raverat resided in or near Cambridge. She was a founding member of the Society of Wood Engravers in 1920. Raverat concentrated on scenes of rural life and landscapes. Gwendolen Marie Raverat was the granddaughter of Charles Darwin as well as being a member of the Bloomsbury Group. She was friends and acquaintance of Ralph Vaughn Williams (second cousin)¿, Vanessa Bell, Stanley Spencer, Rupert Brooke and many more well known artists.
The second woodcut by Raverat in my collection is called ‘The Fen’. Very typical of the work created by her. The first is one of her finest works, the second is typical of her style and both display the artistry of the carver. Sublime skill combined with imagination and originality in the production of her works.