Julian Trevelyan Profile, Matisse and Jugs

Join us today for a profile on one of our favourite artists, Julian Trevelyan. We also look at a scarce Matisse etching and admire the jug, a form that so many of our potters enjoy making and we enjoy using.

Julian Trevelyan

Trevelyan, born in Surrey in 1910, was a renowned artist and printmaker. Initially gaining recognition for his 1930s Surrealist prints, he later found enjoyment in rural and industrial landscapes. During the early 1930s Trevelyan worked alongside Ernst, Kokoschka, Miró, Masson and Picasso and during that time his work was experimental, portraying everyday objects with a dreamlike quality.

In 1935 he set up his etching studio at Durham Wharf in Hammersmith, where he remained until his death in 1988. From 1955-63, Trevelyan worked at the Royal College of Art and became Head of the Etching Department. Highly enthusiastic, he became a highly influential teacher, with students including David Hockney, Ron Kitaj and Norman Ackroyd.

Henri Matisse

Matisse was born in 1869 in Northern France. By 1891 he had abandoned his law degree and started to paint. In Paris, Matisse studied art briefly at the Académie Julian and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He embraced a new range of influences, abandoning the Impressionistic palette and establishing his own style with brilliant colour and fluid line. His subjects were primarily women, interiors, and still lifes.

From the early 1920s until 1939, Matisse divided his time between the South of France and Paris. While recuperating from two major operations in 1941 and 1942, he concentrated on a technique he had devised earlier, ‘papiers découpés’ (paper cutouts), which would prove hugely influential, and was one of the first painters to take an interest in “primitive” art. He died on November 3, 1954, in Nice.


One of the simplest ceramic forms with the most basic of uses, requiring only room for its liquid contents, a handle with which to pour, and a neck and lip that allow water or wine to flow unimpeded from within. With examples from the ancient Minoan and Chinese civilisations dating as far as 2000 BCE and beyond, the jug remains one of the oldest of pottery vessels. Its origins no doubt reach further back to our very first expansion into the world of clay.

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