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Edward Ardizzone R. A. C.B.E

Edward Ardizzone R. A. C.B.E

Edward Ardizzone, R. A. C.B.E [1900-1979]

Edward Ardizzone – universally known as ‘Ted’ - was born in Haiphon, French Indo-China (now Vietnam) to a father of Italian extraction and an English mother. Whilst his father stayed in the Far East working for the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company, his mother brought the five year old Edward Ardizzone to live in England. Here they moved from place to place, but they were never too far from Ipswich where Edward Ardizzone’s grandmother resided. At Ipswich the young Edward Ardizzone explored the docks, met the sailors and established the memories which would later form the basis for the famous Little Tim books.

Edward Ardizzone went to Clayesmore School in Dorset – a school which encouraged his interest in drawing (if not quite to the extent intended: Edward Ardizzone recalls schooldays ‘ill spent’..in..‘scribbling over my lessons’*). But his interest in drawing stayed with him, and after the day time committments of his first job as clerk for the Eastern Telegraph Company Ardizzone took evening classes in life-drawing at Westminster School of Art, London.  

On inheriting a sum of money from his father Edward Ardizzone left his job as clerk, got married to Catherine Anderson, and set up as a freelance artist. His first commissioned break came by way of Johnny Walker – the whisky distillers - who wanted drawings for commercial use; but it was not until his first show at the Bloomsbury Gallery that Edward Ardizzone started to attract the kind of critical acclaim he was later to achieve. And this show also led to his first contract as book illustrator of Sheridan Lefanu’s ‘In a Glass Darkly’ (1929).

During the war Edward Ardizzone was appointed Official War Artist by Sir Kenneth Clark (of ‘Civilization’ fame – an admirer and collector of Edward Ardizzone’s work). He was sent first to France and then to the Middle East. But on his return trips to England he continued to illustrate and soon, with a work he created and which was published just before the War - ‘Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain’ - his work began to attract the following it now enjoys.

Edward Ardizzone had three children, Christianna, Philip and Nicholas. When young he would make up stories to tell them - an accomplishment he inherited from his mother; and it has often been said that, because the Tim books were initiated from the spoken word, it is possible to hear, even though transcribed into text, the sonorous tones of the writer’s voice.

Edward Ardizzone always maintained that the art of a children’s book illustrator was particularly good when it was created as much for the child within the illustrator, as for the child viewing the illustrations. And this, almost certainly, is why the Tim books have just as much appeal for adults as they do for children; and why, too, there is no condescension in either the writing or the illustrations for the books.

In 1956 Edward Ardizzone was to win the first Kate Greenaway medal for the pictures in the Tim books. But the illustrations have received universal acclaim from those young and old. The New York Times heralds Edward Ardizzone as being able to paint…’the wettest sea you ever saw’. And one of the greatest children’s illustrators himself, Maurice Sendak, declares the books…’the saltiest and most satisfying picture books created...’.

*Ardizzone, E. ‘The Creation of a Picture Book’ in ‘Only Connect: Readings in Children’s Literature’, ed. S. Egoff et al; OUP 1969).

Public Collections holding Ardizzone include:

British Museum, London; Tate Gallery, London; V & A, London.

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Edward Ardizzone - Barmaids Old and New

This is an Open Edition Giclee Print by the artist Edward Ardizzone 170mm x 150mm 310..

£39.00 Ex Tax: £32.50

Edward Ardizzone - Bunk-bed at Sea

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Edward Ardizzone140mm x 240mmEdition ..

£56.00 Ex Tax: £46.67

Edward Ardizzone - Dining Room at the Spread Eagle

This is an Open Edition Giclee Print by the artist Edward Ardizzone 195mm x 290mm 310..

£85.00 Ex Tax: £70.83

Edward Ardizzone - Domino Players

This is an Open Edition Giclee Print by the artist Edward Ardizzone 160mm x 135mm 310..

£39.00 Ex Tax: £32.50

Edward Ardizzone - Flotsam and Jetsam

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Edward Ardizzone220mm x 450mmEdition ..

£98.00 Ex Tax: £81.67

Edward Ardizzone - Garden at the Red Lion

This is an Open Edition Giclee Print by the artist Edward Ardizzone 160mm x 140mm 310..

£39.00 Ex Tax: £32.50

Edward Ardizzone - Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Edward Ardizzone110mm x 570mmEdition ..

£77.00 Ex Tax: £64.17

Edward Ardizzone - The Cornet Player

This is an Open Edition Giclee Print by the artist Edward Ardizzone 190mm x 130mm 310..

£39.00 Ex Tax: £32.50

Edward Ardizzone - The Great Sail

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Edward Ardizzone210mm x 450mmEdition ..

£98.00 Ex Tax: £81.67

Edward Ardizzone - Tim and Lucy

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Edward Ardizzone155mm x 210mmEdition ..

£56.00 Ex Tax: £46.67

Edward Ardizzone - Tim's Friend Towser

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Edward Ardizzone140mm x 215mmEdition ..

£56.00 Ex Tax: £46.67