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Julian Trevelyan 'Travels' An Exhibition of Etchings


Saturday, 4 November 2017 to Saturday, 25 November 2017

Julian Trevelyan RA (1910-1988) has long been established as one of the most diverse and influential printmakers of the twentieth century and this beautifully curated show brings together some of the very finest etchings inspired by his extensive travels.


Trevelyan travelled widely as a young man and later in life, he, and his wife, the artist Mary Fedden, shared this passion for travel. As the war-dominated years receded, many of their friends re-opened homes around the world and the Trevelyans were regular house guests in exotic locations such as Greece, Malta, Crete and Italy. As Julian’s career developed during the 80s, his work took him on major excursions to, amongst others, Russia, Africa and the USA. During these ‘working holiday’s Julian would fill notebooks and sketches with material and inspiration for work in the months and years to come. Titles of his etchings read like extracts from travel brochures - Mont Ventoux, Etruruia, Gozo, Gharb, Ischia, Mt Athos and Mt Sinai.


Between 1970 and 1984, these working holidays triggered entire suites of etchings. In the preface to his Catalogue Raisonne, Mary describes Julian’s quick responses to new experiences ‘He constantly drew on the people and places visited and he set down whatever caught his eye. He had the ability to capture the essence of a place …. Africa, India, Russia, France, Malta, Italy … and what he saw, thought and felt was immediately translated into prints and paintings which reflected the very smell of where he had drawn inspiration’. We share the artist’s joy in the landscapes he stumbles across and the customs encountered. The people and animals are recorded with a charm and simplicity of design generally alighting on the things that captivated Trevelyan: the holy cattle; a man ploughing with buffalo; steam trains and bicycles; a horse and cart; shoeing oxen.

Artist ( Description ): 

Julian Trevelyan was a distinguished artist and printmaker producing work with a broad appeal. He joined Stanley Hayter's atelier in Paris in 1931 where he worked alongside artists such as Ernst, Kokoschka, Masson, Miro and Picasso. It was in this atmosphere that he turned to Surrealism and became a founding member of the British Surrealist Group. A selection of his paintings and etchings featured in the ground-breaking 'International Surrealist Exhibition' at the New Burlington Galleries, London in 1936. In 1937, Julian Trevelyan became involved in Tom Harrisson's Mass Observation social anthropology surveys, recording in detail the daily lives of ordinary people. This experience had a profound effect on his work.


 Trevelyan taught at both the Royal College of Art and the Royal College of art. Not only was he a highly influential teacher (his students included David Hockney, Ron Kitaj and Norman Ackroyd), but he was an important innovator of modern print techniques and today is increasingly regarded as the quiet driving force behind the etching revolution of the 1960s. Julian Trevelyan was brilliantly inventive and possessed a wit and innocence of eye that could discover enchantment in the most mundane scenes.


Julian Trevelyan exhibited regularly at Bohun gallery and the gallery continues to handle his Estate. The monograph 'Picture Language' written by Julian's son, Philip Trevelyan, was launched to co-incide with a retrospective of the artist's paintings and etchings held at the gallery in 2013.

01491 576 228
Venue ( Address ): 

Bohun Gallery, 15 Reading Road, Henley on Thames, Oxon RG9 1AB

Bohun Gallery , Henley on Thames

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