C1 artwork by Julian Trevelyan

“Marlborough College” c.1960 by Julian Trevelyan, R.A., Hon. R.E. (1910-1988)

Hanging silently and peacefully, indeed perfectly, in C1 House Library is a “home grown” work of art of distinction and beauty.

In fact, the more one looks at this work the more it strikes the viewer. Go beyond the merely superficially naive style and look at the perspective of the pathway, house, church and the proportions: the are spot on. Go further: the rendering of the foliage is supremely varied and in a delicate balancing act with the man made structures, the three figures add proportion. In terms of technique, this composition is an etching done in aquatint, a tricky process to get just right, which Trevelyan has done not only marvellously but masterly, adding to this works enjoyment and success. The four slices of what appears to be Stilton cheese flying in the sky add a further twist and a curious juxtaposition. What was the artist thinking? In page 321 of my Print REbels book, published in 2018, I write: “Trevelyan’s etchings are unusually inventive and possess a wit and freshness the evokes enchantment.”

Trevelyan is regarded very highly in the world of printmaking. He was an etching tutor at Chelsea College of Art, London, from 1950 to 1955 and Professor of Printmaking at the Royal College of Art from 1955 to 1963 and taught, amongst others, immortal stars such as David Hockney, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi and Norman Ackroyd. Trevelyan was elected a Honorary Member of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers in 1985 and a Royal Academician in 1986.

Trevelyan first wife, Ursula Darwin, was great granddaughter of Charles Darwin. His second wife was the distinguished artist, Mary Feddon, O.B.E., R.A.

This “Marlborough College” work is signed by the artist “Artists Proof” at the bottom left foot of the picture. A proof is a print, possibly unique, usually printed by the artist and before an edition. The rather curious thing is this particular work is not included in Trevelyan’s catalogue of works.

I hope the boys in C1 glance as this delightful College treasure, now and then, when in their library.

Edward Twohig
Head of Art

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