The South Downs is an amazing landscape which has attracted artists for centuries to wonder in its natural beauty and rolling hills. Two particular artists stand out; Eric Ravilious and Ivon Hitchens, both of whom painted prolifically in the early parts of the 20th century. Ravilious is mostly associated with the east of the Downs, though his landscape work is influenced by the entire region. Hitchens lived and worked near Petworth, drawing his inspiration from the woodlands, rivers and everyday life around him.
Chalk Paths by Eric Ravilious
I’m a big fan of Ravilious. Anyone who knows the South Downs will recognise the winter greens and chalky white colours of this wonderful painting.
Curved Barn by Ivon Hitchens
Hitchens (1983-1979) moved to Lavington Common near Petworth in 1940, where he lived and painted for many years. He drew his inspiration from the surrounding area. This particular painting of Curved Barn is available as a print from the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. Curved Barn is inspired by buildings at Bex Mill near Heyshot. It’s painted in sombre, earth and natural colours with a rhythm and curves to the structure of the painting inspired by the work of French artist André Lhote.