Harry Arthur Riley (1895 – 1966)

Barmouth, North Wales, for Mountain, Sand & Sea


Original vintage poster

100 x 60 cm

Riley’s vintage poster extols the virtues of visiting sunny Barmouth – the scene depicts dozens of attractively (if perhaps unrealistically) tanned holidaymakers, a bright blue sea, and a pretty coastal town. The poster was part of a series produced for British Railways, designed to encourage rail travel to beauty spots across Britain.

Principally known as a commercial artist, Harry Riley RI’s iconic poster designs of the 1920s – 1960s and his bright, joyful and idyllic depictions of British seaside holiday destinations, such as Morecambe, Plymouth, Weston-Super-Mare and Ilfracombe, were used to advertise the British rail network and have come to define Post-War British leisure and travel. He was also known for this work with airliners such as BOAC and Qantas. Although not an easily identifiable name within the echelons of the mid-20th century commercial art scene, Riley’s works pay testament to a highly skilled and prolific artist whose visual style fittingly captures the idealistic and amber-tinted vision of early 1960s glamour that the era’s commercial and travel sectors strove to embody.

Harry Riley studied at St Martin’s School of Art and was soon commissioned to produce commercial art and poster designs for companies such as Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason. He became a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and worked as a cartoonist for the Daily Mail, later becoming President of the London Sketch Club. The bright and bold style of his art for British Railways has become instantly recognisable today and is an illustration of travel, leisure, and idealism in post-war Britain.

Condition: colours good. Backed to board.

If you are interested, please email info@manningfineart.co.uk or call us on 07929 749056.

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