Tuesday, 3 January 2012


Just heard the news from Professor Martin Salisbury that Ronald Searle has died. Martin met Searle and his wife a couple of years back for an interview with the great man to accompany an exhibition at The Ruskin Gallery Cambridge. By all accounts a warm lively meeting lubricated by fine champagne. Apart from Searle's stunning Japanese POW drawings I dismissed his work as old fashioned and dusty and dated. It wasn't until I clapped eyes on a large original of Searles's at The Wilhelm Busch Museum in Hannover circa 1991 a drawing depicting Toulouse-Lautrec in a Parisian brothel, that I conceded. I could see the the influential subtle genius in the draughtsmanship, but his work and that of his European contemporaries was the stuff I wanted to trample over. I failed. A few years ago an art editor friend of mine bought a Searle original with three separate vignettes on a theme of Wimbledon Tennis for £6000.00. I imagine they must've just doubled in value. I'll go and drink a toast to Ronald Searle.

1 comment:

  1. It was a Radio Times illustration, I think she paid through the nose for it. Well it was purchased at the Chris Beetles Gallery, maybe RS's death might've increased the value so it peaks at six grand. Radio Times? The days of pages stuffed full of illustrations by Robin Jaques, Eric Fraser, Bill Sanderson, Paul Sample, Lynda Gray, Arthur Robins, John Gorham, Brian Sanders, Peter Till, Tony Meeuwissen, Peter Brookes, Dan Fern, Mick Brownfield and a Noah's Ark of artists long gone, not to mention Gerald Scarfe who tells a heart warming story regarding Ronald Searle in to days Guardian newspaper.....