THE ILLUSTRATORS 2017 : ARDIZZONE, EDWARD CBE RA ARWS RDI (1900-1979)

Edward Ardizzone

Edward Ardizzone, CBE RA ARWS RDI (1900-1979)


Highly observant and immensely humane, the work of Edward Ardizzone is in direct descent from the finest French and English illustrators read more...
Edward Ardizzone
Edward Ardizzone, CBE RA ARWS RDI (1900-1979)

Highly observant and immensely humane, the work of Edward Ardizzone is in direct descent from the finest French and English illustrators of the nineteenth century. Developing as an artist from 1930, Ardizzone made his name as an illustrator through his contributions to The Radio Times and then with Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain, which proved to be one of the most significant picture books from between the wars. Soon considered one of the greatest illustrators of his generation, he also gained a reputation as a distinguished Official War Artist, through his record in word and image of action in Europe and North Africa. Versatile and productive, he produced paintings, sculptures, etchings and lithographs, and worked as a designer.

Edward Ardizzone was born in Haiphong in French Indo-China on 16 October 1900, to a Franco-Italian father and a Scottish mother. The family returned to England in 1905, and lived mainly in East Anglia until 1919, when they settled in London. However, Ardizzone was educated away from home, at Clayesmore School in the Thames Valley, and it was there that he first developed his artistic talent. Working as a statistical clerk from the age of nineteen, he took evening classes at the Westminster School of Art under Bernard Meninsky (1921-26). After seven years, he decided to take up a career as a painter and illustrator, and began to exhibit in solo shows at the Bloomsbury (1930) and Leger Galleries (1931-36). Synthesising the bulk of Meninsky’s figures with the humour and facility of French and English illustrators, he moved from the tight, sinister vignettes of
In a Glass Darkly (1929) to a more typically generous draughtsmanship, achieving widespread recognition with Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain (1936), the first of the books that he both wrote and illustrated.

Ardizzone reached a particularly wide public through his contributions to periodicals. His drawings for
Radio Times first appeared in 1932, and he was chosen in the same year to design the cover of the Christmas issue. He was also closely associated with the Strand magazine, providing a series of coloured drawings of Londoners in 1942, and drawing all except one of the covers between October 1946 and December 1947. Soon considered as one of the greatest illustrators of his generation, he also gained a reputation as a distinguished Official War Artist, through his record in word and image of action in Europe and North Africa.

After the Second World War, Ardizzone worked increasingly as an illustrator of literary classics, and collaborated closely with a number of contemporary authors, including James Reeves. A teacher of illustration at Camberwell School of Art and of etching at the Royal College of Art (1953-61), he won several prizes including the Carnegie Medal (1955), the Hans Christian Andersen Medal (1956) for Farjeon’s
The Little Bookroom, and the first Kate Greenaway Award (1956) for Tim All Alone. Working additionally as painter, sculptor, lithographer and designer, he was elected to the membership of the Society of Industrial Artists (1947) and the Royal Academy (ARA 1962, RA 1970). He was created CBE in 1971, and a Royal Designer for Industry three years later. Living in Maida Vale for most of his career, he spent an increasing amount of his final decade in Kent, and died in that county on 8 November 1979.

On 3 May 2007, an English Heritage Blue Plaque was unveiled by Sir Christopher Frayling in honour of Edward Ardizzone, at his former home at 130 Elgin Avenue, Maida Vale, London, W9. The assembled company then repaired appropriately to the Prince Alfred, Formosa Street, one of Ardizzone’s former watering holes, for a celebratory reception.

His work is represented in numerous public collections, including the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum, Tate and the V&A; and the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford).

Further reading:
Brian Alderson,
Edward Ardizzone: A Bibliographic Commentary, Pinner: Private Libraries Association, in association with the British Library and Oak Knoll Press, 2003; Dr Nicholas Ardizzone, Edward Ardizzone’s World. The Etchings and Lithographs, London: Unicorn Press/Wolseley Fine Arts, 2000; Gabriel White, Edward Ardizzone, London: Bodley Head, 1979
SALOON BAR AT THE ABBEY PUB, CHELSEA by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

SALOON BAR AT THE ABBEY PUB, CHELSEA

IN THE STUDIO by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

IN THE STUDIO

THE SCULPTOR AND HIS MODEL by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

THE SCULPTOR AND HIS MODEL

THE DRESSING ROOM by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

THE DRESSING ROOM

ENJOYING THE VIEW by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

ENJOYING THE VIEW

TWO ILLUSTRATED LETTERS TO THE BANK MANAGER MR CLARK by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

TWO ILLUSTRATED LETTERS TO THE BANK MANAGER MR CLARK

TWO ILLUSTRATED LETTERS TO THE BANK MANAGER MR CLARK by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

TWO ILLUSTRATED LETTERS TO THE BANK MANAGER MR CLARK

DESCENT FROM THE ROBING ROOM
OR ONE FOR EACH DAY OF THE WEEK by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

DESCENT FROM THE ROBING ROOM OR ONE FOR EACH DAY OF THE WEEK

A LONDON MAGISTRATE'S COURT
OR OLDER BUT NO BETTER by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

A LONDON MAGISTRATE'S COURT OR OLDER BUT NO BETTER

LONDON SESSIONS
OR 'HOW DO I KNOW WHAT HE THOUGHT?' by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

LONDON SESSIONS OR 'HOW DO I KNOW WHAT HE THOUGHT?'

PUPILS
OR 'LISTEN TO THIS ONE' by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

PUPILS OR 'LISTEN TO THIS ONE'

A COURT AT THE OLD BAILEY
OR 'MEMBERS OF THE JURY, YOU CAN'T CONVICT MY CLIENT' (CAN'T THEY!) by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

A COURT AT THE OLD BAILEY OR 'MEMBERS OF THE JURY, YOU CAN'T CONVICT MY CLIENT' (CAN'T THEY!)

A GALLERY AT THE LAW COURTS
OR 'IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE JUDGE REALLY' by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

A GALLERY AT THE LAW COURTS OR 'IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE JUDGE REALLY'

BARRISTERS AND SOLICITORS AT A COUNTY COURT
OR 'I M SORRY TO HAVE TO ASK YOU THIS QUESTION, MADAM' by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

BARRISTERS AND SOLICITORS AT A COUNTY COURT OR 'I M SORRY TO HAVE TO ASK YOU THIS QUESTION, MADAM'

THE DIVORCE COURT
OR 'HE'S ALWAYS HITTING ME ROUND THE HEAD' by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

THE DIVORCE COURT OR 'HE'S ALWAYS HITTING ME ROUND THE HEAD'

CROSS-EXAMINING THE WITNESS
OR 'DO YOURSELF JUSTICE, MR JONES' by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

CROSS-EXAMINING THE WITNESS OR 'DO YOURSELF JUSTICE, MR JONES'

SILK AND JUNIOR
OR 'I SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT THIS WAS WORTH PUTTING TO HER' by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

SILK AND JUNIOR OR 'I SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT THIS WAS WORTH PUTTING TO HER'

LADY BARRISTER
OR 'WHAT I REALLY FEEL IN THIS CASE IS' by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

LADY BARRISTER OR 'WHAT I REALLY FEEL IN THIS CASE IS'

PRISONER IN THE DOCK by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

PRISONER IN THE DOCK

'NOW DON'T LOOK AT POLLY LIKE THAT EM!' MISS PETTIFER LECTURED HIM. 'IT ISN'T NICE. YOU ARE DRIBBLING. IF POLLY EVER DISAPPEARS FOR GOOD I SHALL KNOW WHO HAS HAD HIM.' by EDWARD ARDIZZONE

'NOW DON'T LOOK AT POLLY LIKE THAT EM!' MISS PETTIFER LECTURED HIM. 'IT ISN'T NICE. YOU ARE DRIBBLING. IF POLLY EVER DISAPPEARS FOR GOOD I SHALL KNOW WHO HAS HAD HIM.'