Saturday 23 March 2024


It's Eastertide and Radio Times magazine has just unveiled the cover-art for its Easter 2024 Issue. The work of Dawn Cooper, it comprises a bunny, a bird (a red-breasted swallow?), spring flowers and, obviously, a few eggs. What could be nicer? They are, of course, all part of the traditional tropes and trappings of the season, but it sent me off in search of how Radio Times marked Easter in days gone by.
For five decades, like a number of other weekly magazines, Radio Times employed artists noted for their skill at working with woodcuts and pen-and-ink illustration and allowed them the time and space to create lavish pieces of decorative art that – for what was nothing more than an ephemeral publication – are astonishing in their unrivaled detail, story-telling and arresting imagery.
Many Easter issues of Radio Times contained interior artwork presenting classic or newly-created depictions of the Passion, but the covers – unsurprisingly, perhaps – mostly comprised intensely rural, village-centric scenes from some of the finest illustrators of the age – in all of which the church was either a central feature or at very least an integral element of the design. It may be hard to believe, my children, but that is how it was in Britain during those early All-Things-Bright-and-Beautiful years of the Twentieth Century.
Easter 1934 - John Austen (1886-1948)

 Easter 1948 - J. S. Goodall (1908-1996)

Easter 1949 - [Unidentified artist] 
Easter 1950 - Robin Jacques (1920-1995)

 Easter 1951 - C. F. Tunnicliffe (1901-1979) 


Easter 1952 - S. R. Badmin (1906-1989)



Easter 1954 - S. R. Badmin (1906-1989)

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