Julian Trevelyan (1910-1988)

Spinnakers (1972)



48 x 35 cm (sheet size 68 x 55 cm)

Signed in pencil and numbered 1/65.

The Tate holds number 24/56 – reference P01330.

Small vessels weave around two great boats with striped masts, observed by a dark sky full of geometric clouds. A red buoy bobs in the foreground, and the heavily textured sea and sky blend into one.

Nephew of the historian G M Trevelyan, Julian Trevelyan was educated at Bedales and then at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read English. After moving to Paris, Trevelyan studied engraving at Stanley William Hayter’s school, working alongside artists such as Max Ernst, Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso. He married the potter Ursula Darwin in 1934, and in 1935 they moved to Hammersmith, buying Durham Wharf beside the River Thames which was Trevelyan’s studio – and home – for the rest of his life.

His wartime service was – like so many artists – as a camoufleur. A Royal Engineer from 1940-43, he served in North Africa and Palestine, forcing the German Afrika Korps to use resources against a dummy army whilst real tanks were disguised as more harmless equipment. In the desert, nothing could be hidden – but it could be disguised.

Following the dissolution of his marriage in 1950, he married the painter Mary Fedden. Teaching at Chelsea School of Art, Trevelyan eventually became head of the Etching Department and his pupils included David Hockney and Peter Ackroyd.

Condition: generally very good. Mounted to board.

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