Gwen Raverat

1885 - 1957

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Gwen Raverat was a highly individual and intensely personal artist who contributed greatly to the revival of wood engraving as an original art form at the beginning of the twentieth-century. Gwen Raverat's first engravings date from 1909 and by 1920 she joined her colleagues Eric Gill, Edward Gordon Craig, and Robert Gibbings in founding the Society of Wood Engravers.

The grand-daughter of Charles Darwin, author of the Origin of Species, Gwen Raverat began wood engraving purely as a personal interest. Most of her work prior to 1932 was in the form of single prints produced soley for her own pleasure – few were issued in formal editions and all are now rare. She adopted a simple yet striking style of wood engraving technique which did not depend upon the detail and pattern of lines obtained through the use of the tint tool. Instead, she concentrated upon the use of stark contrast with only simple shading to create her highly individual and stylish designs.