A treat for all the fam­ily

A new bi­og­ra­phy on the artist-il­lus­tra­tor Ed­ward Ardiz­zone and a ret­ro­spec­tive ex­hi­bi­tion ded­i­cated to his work pro­vide Pey­ton Skip­with with a feast of de­lights

Country Life Every Week - - Books -

fat lit­tle tits burst­ing out of lit­tle white blouses and fat lit­tle be­hinds in tight black skirts’.

Ardiz­zone’s eye was ever keen for such de­tail, whether on home ter­ri­tory in Maida Vale, in an army hos­pi­tal, the souks of Cairo or the back streets of Naples. His pen deftly cap­tured the seedy pub life of El­gin Av­enue, bar­gain­ing Arabs, Scot­tish sol­diers be­mused by nude sculp­tures in the mu­seum at Lep­tis Magna and the wry hu­mour of the burial party on the road to Tripoli tak­ing a break from their grisly task. How­ever, even in the most macabre of these scenes, ‘cheer­ful­ness will keep breaking in’, as Os­bert Lan­caster noted.

In ad­di­tion to books and his war work, Ardiz­zone drew posters for Shell and Guin­ness. His litho­graph The Fat­test Woman in the World, in­spired by The Guin­ness Book of Records, with its fair­ground ad­ver­tis­ing and scratch­ing dog, is def­i­nitely not po­lit­i­cally cor­rect and shows Ardiz­zone’s child­ish de­light in over­step­ping the mark. In con­trast are his 1967 Birth­day Greet­ings Telegram for the Royal Mail and his menu de­signs for Over­ton’s.

One of the lat­ter shows the in­te­rior of the restau­rant full of red-faced men, dé­col­letée ladies, lob­sters, bot­tles, glasses and cigars. The gen­eral air of bon­homie and good liv­ing this litho­graph ex­udes is surely, as the au­thor says, ‘one of the most ap­pro­pri­ate uses of Ardiz­zone’s tal­ent’. He en­joyed life as he recorded it and was nei­ther pruri­ent nor pu­ri­tan. Ardiz­zone’s orig­i­nal art­work, and much else be­sides, can be seen un­til Jan­uary 22, 2017, in ‘Ardiz­zone: A Ret­ro­spec­tive’ at House of Illustration, 2, Gra­nary Square, Lon­don N1 (www. house­ofil­lus­tra­tion.org.uk; 020–3696 2020)

A vi­gnette from Ardiz­zone’s Lit­tle Tim and the Brave Sea Cap­tain

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