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Julian Otto Trevelyan
© National Portrait Gallery, London. Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

Julian Otto Trevelyan 1940

Julian Trevelyan (1910–1988)

National Portrait Gallery, London

Painter, printmaker, teacher and writer, born in Dorking, Surrey, son of the poet and scholar R C Trevelyan. Educated at Bedales School and Cambridge University, where he was a member of the Experiments group. For several years in early 1930s studied with S W Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris. His early work was experimental, his paintings incorporating everyday objects. At university he had written that “to dream is to create” and so it was logical that he became one of the English Surrealist group in 1936. During service as a camouflage officer in the Royal Engineers during World War II he declared his religion to be Surrealism. His pictures, in a variety of styles, retained a dreamlike, often childlike, fantastic quality. Was married to the potter Ursula Darwin (later Mommens), marriage dissolved in 1950; then from 1951 the painter Mary Fedden.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)


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