Ronald Searle – part 8

The son of a railwayman, Ronald Searle was born in Cambridge on 3 March 1920, and educated in the town at the Boys’ Central School. He started work as a solicitor’s clerk, and then joined the hire purchase department of the co-operative Society, studying in the evenings and later full-time at the Cambridge Daily News from the age of fifteen.

Enlisting in the Royal Engineers at the outbreak of the Second World War, he spent time in Kirkcudbright, where he encountered evacuees from St. Trinian’s, a progressive girls’ school situated in Edinburgh.

This resulted in his first cartoon for Lilliput, published in October 1941, and later developed into one of his most famous creations, through a series of books and their cinematic spin-offs. Remarkably, he survived the horrific experiences of the Changi Camp, Singapore as a Japanese prisoner-of-war and managed to produce a visual record of life in a prison camp.


On his return to England in 1945, he exhibited the surviving pictures at the Cambridge School of Art, and published Forty Drawings. The exhibition and volume together established his reputation as one of Britain’s most powerful draughtsmen, and led to several opportunities to record the atmosphere of post-war Europe. He contributed to Punch and these drawings crystallised in, The Female Approach (1949). Throughout the fifties, he produced a large variety of illustrations, which together seemed present a guide to life in Britain in the 1950’s.


Such was his success that his rejection of family and country in a move to Paris in 1961 came as a great surprise. However, it offered a fresh start, resulting in several solo shows, including a major exhibitions at the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, the Berlin-Dahlem Museum and the Wilhelm-Busch-Museum, Hanover. He also reached a new audience with his contributions to film and television, most notably The Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965).


Note: Searle did so many works that I want to post here, that I will post them in two separate series: 1940-1960, and at a later date: 1961-2007.


For a more detailed biography see part 1, and for earlier works, see parts 1 – 7 also. 

This is part 8 of a 13-part series on the works of Ronald Searle, dated 1940-1960:


1953-1973 Nigel Molesworth:

1953 Down with Skool! by Geoffrey Willans & Ronald Searle
published by Setanta Books, London

1953 Down with Skool! 

1953 Down with Skool! 
original artwork

1953 Down with Skool! 

1953 Down with Skool! 

1953 Down with Skool!
original artwork
Wilhelm Busch – German Museum of Caricature and Drawing 

1953 Down with Skool!
original artwork
Wilhelm Busch – German Museum of Caricature and Drawing

1953 Down with Skool!
original artwork
Wilhelm Busch – German Museum of Caricature and Drawing

1953 Down with Skool!
original artwork
Wilhelm Busch – German Museum of Caricature and Drawing

1953 Down with Skool!
Fragrant Leaves from My Botany Book, Part 1 A Glurk Trolling. – A Blue-nosed Chuck Brooding

1953 Down with Skool!
Fragrant Leaves from My Botany Book, Part 2 A Lesser Titwort Avoiding a Worm. – A Mongolian Thick Surprised (Rear View).

1953 Your psycho-analyst may say one thing, Blatworthy, but I say another. And my treatment is free
pen and India ink and brush on card 36.9 x 25.6 cm
Wilhelm Busch – German Museum of Caricature and Drawing

1954 How to be Topp by Geoffrey Willans & Ronald Searle
published by Max Parrish

1954 How to be Topp
published by Vanguard Press

1954 How to be Topp
Title Page

1954 How to be Topp

1954 How to be Topp

1954 How to be Topp

1954 How to be Topp

1954 How to be Topp

1954 How to be Topp
original artwork
pen and ink

1954 Molesworth at the Bar
original artwork
pen and ink 26 x 22 cm

1956 Molesworth’s Guide to the Atomic Age by Geoffrey Willans & Ronald Searle
published by Vanguard Press

1956 Molesworth’s Guide to The Atomic Age
Title Page

1956 Nigel is a slo developer
original artwork
pen and ink 26 x 18.4 cm
 

1956 Whizz for Atomms by Geoffrey Willans & Ronald Searle
published by Max Parish, London

1956 Whizz for Atomms

1959 Back in the Jug Agane by Geoffrey Willans & Ronald Searle
published by Vanguard Press

1959 Back in the Jug Again
original artwork
pen and ink 19.6 x 21 cm

1968 Back in the Jug Agane 

1973 How to be Topp
published by Puffin Books, London

1973 Whizz for Atomms by Geoffrey Willans & Ronald Searle
published by Armada Paperbacks


1954 Chelsea Arts Ball, London: decor by Ronald Searle on the theme of The Seven Seas:


1954 The Journal of Edwin Carp (French edition) by Richard Haydn, published by Hamish Hamilton, London:

Front Cover (French edition)

Frontispiece

Title Page

A crumb became trapped in her glottis

I did my best to drown out the noise of rushing water

Obviously unaware that the arm of the Law is reaching out

The Cellini of the Adze

To avoid completely losing my temper I hurried upstairs to change

What’s the bag full of?

*          *          *           *          *
1954 “Lovely floor…” “May I have the pleasure?…”

1954 ‘Trap for Dere Santa’
original artwork
pen and ink 27.5 x 21 cm

1954 Art: The British public knowing what it likes…
original artwork
 pen and ink and watercolour 41.9 x 36.8 cm
published in Punch magazine 1954

1954 Eden and Churchill Gartered
original artwork
pen and ink, watercolour and gouache 41,9 x 31.8 cm

1954 Jumping Joan by C.H.B. Kitchin
cover by Ronald Searle
published by Secker & Warburg

1954 Patrick Campbell’s Omnibus
Drawings by Ronald Searle
published by Hulton Press

1954 Play Time
Punch magazine

1954 Rustlings of Spring in Paris
Punch magazine

1954 The Dark is Light Enough by Christopher Fry
cover by Ronald Searle

1954 The Tivoli, Copenhagen for Punch magazine
original artwork 55.8 x 40.9 cm
Wilhelm Busch – German Museum of Caricature and Drawing

1954 Twelfth Night
Punch magazine


Arts and Entertainment