The hunt is on to find the lost artworks of one of the district’s most important artistic minds.

Eric Ravilious, one of the most admired and popular British artists of the 20th century, famously lived in Great Bardfield as well as Castle Hedingham in the 1930s.

Throughout his career, Ravilious produced a remarkable number of watercolour paintings, and although 250 are known to experts, it is believed around 40 are lying undiscovered or uncatalogued in collections around the world.

New publishing company Hedingham Press wants to publish the definitive catalogue of Ravilious’ watercolour works and has issued an appeal for the public’s help to find the missing pieces of the puzzle.

James Russell, is one of the founders of Hedingham Press and an expert on Ravilious watercolour paintings.

He said: “They might be held in private collections – even, possibly, public collections – in the UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

“Ravilious spent his last days in Iceland, so that is also a possibility.

“We do believe they are out there - our mission is to find and catalogue all of the Ravilious watercolours in the world and produce the definitive book featuring them.

“We are appealing to anyone who has, or think they might have, a ‘lost’ Ravilious watercolour to get in touch and help us complete this ambitious project.”

Ravilious was one of several members of the British art community to live in Great Bardfield during the 30s.

He moved to the village after studying at the Royal College of Art, London and spent several years lodging in houses with his contemporaries.

Along with other artists such as Edward Bawden, John Aldrige and Sheila Robinson, the group eventually became synonymous with the village where they lived and became known as The Great Bardfield Artists.

Ravilious died in 1942 aged 39 whilst serving in Iceland as an official war artist during the Second World War.

Much of his career was spent painting English landscapes, including South Downs and of course the Essex countryside.

In 2014, one of his previously undiscovered paintings sold for £265,000 at an auction house in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Anyone who thinks they may have information relating to a Ravilious watercolour piece should contact The Hedingham Press by emailing

Hedingham Press was established by art historian and genuine Ravilious expert James Russell, book designer Robert Dalrymple and art director Gordon Cooke.

For more information about the publisher, visit