Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Ronald Searle 1920 - 2011

Very sad to hear of the death of Ronald Searle in my view one of the country's greatest ever illustrators and certainly one of it's best draughtsmen. Recognised in the USA and in France where he was both honoured and hugely influential. 
Searle was genuinely much more than a cartoonist. Anybody who has seen his drawings from his time as a prisoner of war in Burma during world war two can be under no doubt as to the strength of his conviction as an artist.

"Despite his own sufferings, Searle continued to draw what he saw, hiding his sketches under the mattresses of men dying of cholera to prevent their discovery by Japanese guards. “I desperately wanted to put down what was happening, because I thought if by any chance there was a record, even if I died, someone might find it and know what went on,” he recalled."

He was probably busiest in the 1950s and early 60s producing some fantastic reportage, illustrating over a hundred books not to mention his editorial, and design work. 
In this country Ronald Searle is known almost solely as a cartoonist and for creating the St Trinians. It makes me sad that he was not subject of more honour in this country during his lifetime.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

A terrible loss indeed.