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  • Cressida Bonham-Forbes

Eric Ravilious - Missing Painting Found

A painting by one of Britian's best-loved watercolour artists that was "considered missing" for 82 years is to be put on display in a Sussex Gallery.


'Mackerel Sky' by Eric William Ravilious was sold to a private collector for 15 guineas in 1939.

The current owner is loaning it to Hastings Contemporary art gallery for its Seaside Modern Exhibition. Well-known curator and art historian James Russell said the painting reappearing was "exciting news for Ravilious fans". "This 1938 gem, Mackerel Sky, was considered missing for years but has now resurfaced and will feature in my exhibition," added Mr Russell.


This large watercolour painting, which measures 75cm by 55cm, is estimated to be worth at least £250,000 according to gallery experts. It features fishing boats pulled up onto the beach with a beautiful sky in the background. In 2018 another Ravilious painting, which had not been seen since the war years, was sold for a similar price at auction. Eric Ravilious, who grew up in East Sussex, was a war artist who was also famous for his watercolours of the South Downs and other iconic English landscapes. These include 'Westbury Horse', 'Wilmington Giant' and the iconic painting 'Beachy Head Lighthouse' which are available as best-selling limited edition art prints on our website.

Above: Mackerel Sky Painting by Eric Ravilious

'Mackerel Sky' is one of about 30 Eric Ravilious paintings dating from the 1920s and 1930s which the art community could not confirm were still in existence, as many of his paintings went missing or were destroyed during World War Two. Ravilious died aged just 39 in 1942 when the aircraft he was in disappeared off the coast of Iceland.


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