Tirzah Garwood-Ravilious (1908 - 1951)

The Crocodile


SKU: 11145
Wood engraving

Height – 29.7cm x Width – 21cm

4 in stock


Merivale Editions; Simon Lawrence
Llewellyn, Sacha, et al. Women Only Works on Paper. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p. 71.

In 1925, at the age of 17, Tirzah Garwood enrolled at Eastbourne School of Art, where, under the instruction of her young tutor, Eric Ravilious, (whom she would marry five years later), she excelled in wood engraving. Her satirical scenes of bourgeois life in 1920’s Britain explored themes such as bathers on Eastbourne beach, window cleaners and plump ladies shopping in Kensington. By 1927, she was already exhibiting and attracting attention for her work, and received prestigious commissions from the BBC and the Curwen Press. The Crocodile and The Dog Show were commissioned in 1929 by Oliver Simon for a projected but never completed calendar to have been published by the Curwen Press. Both engravings, however, were shown at the English Wood Engraving Society’s 1929 exhibition to critical acclaim. The Queen (25th December 1929) compared the puckish humour’ of Garwood’s work to that of Honoré-Victorin Daumier, describing The Dog Show as wicked’ and The Crocodile as that amusing bit of observation’, while Apollo (January 1930) wrote, Miss Tirzah Garwood is, as one expects it of her by now, intensely amusing, especially in The Dog Show’.

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Tirzah Garwood-Ravilious
1908 - 1951

Eileen ‘Tirzah’ Garwood attended Eastbourne School of Art (1925’28), where she was taught by Eric Ravilious (1903 – 1942) whom she married in 1930.

She first exhibited in 1927, at the Redfern Gallery, and an early woodcut shown at the 1927 SWE exhibition received significant praise in The Times. Such was the originality of her printmaking that she exerted an influence over Ravilious’ own wood engravings. She was also commissioned by the BBC in 1928 to illustrate Granville Bantock’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, and made whimsical but exacting observational pictures that were popular with children and exhibited by the Society for Education in Art.

While recovering from emergency mastectomy surgery in 1942 she wrote her autobiography, Long Live Great Bardfield & Love to You All (published posthumously in 2012). After Ravilious’ death that same year, Garwood remained in Essex until her remarriage in 1946. She was again diagnosed with cancer in 1948 and died in 1951. In 1952, a memorial exhibition was held at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne.


SKU: 11145

Tirzah Garwood-Ravilious (1908 - 1951)

The Crocodile


SKU: 11147

Tirzah Garwood-Ravilious (1908 - 1951)

The Dog Show, 1929