In the Old Days (I won't say Good Old Days, because that's too subjective) when The Radio Times featured genuine cover art, one artist among the many who drew for the magazine stood head and shoulders above his highly talented brethren – Eric Fraser.
A school prize of the works of Shakespeare with Fraser's dramatic colour plates confirmed my admiration (and affection) for this highly skilled and disciplined artist and encouraged my weekly scouring of The Radio Times and my eager seeking out of books in library and bookshop that carried his cover art – like this wrapper for the 1962 Everyman paperback edition of The Pilgrim's Progress...
This fabulously dramatic composition is just one item on sale in the selling exhibition Eric Fraser (1902-1983), which opens on 17 April at Chris Beetles Gallery and runs until 11 May.
The diverse collection of Fraser art on sale ranges from book jackets and full-page illustrations in colour to his miniature masterpieces for The Radio Times – scenes from Biblical epics via Greek dramas to Tolstoy's novels and portraits of composers, explorers, Kings and Queens – and decorative head- and tail-pieces, each showing his characteristic mastery of black and white penmanship.
Here are just a few diverse examples of Fraser's brilliant artistry...
Also in the exhibition – though not for sale – is an Eric Fraser picture from my own collection, which I will tell you about in a subsequent blog post.
Meanwhile, the exhibition (accompanied by a 148-page lavishly illustrated colour catalogue, price £20) will be on show from next Wednesday at...
Chris Beetles Gallery
8 & 10 Ryder Street, St James's, London, SW1Y 6QB
Telephone: 020 7839 7551
Gallery Opening Times: Monday - Saturday, 10:00 - 17:30
Copyright © ERIC FRASER/ CHRIS BEETLES GALLERY
[Note: The Radio Times Coronation cover is not part of this exhibition]