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Julian Trevelyan HRA AIA LG (1910-1988)

Julian Otto Trevelyan, HRA AIA LG (1910-1988)

Painter, printmaker, teacher and writer, Julian Trevelyan enlivened twentieth-century British art through his varied assimilation of elements of French avant-garde approaches – not only the dreamlike and childlike aspects of Surrealism, but also the decorative colourism of Matisse and Bonnard.

Julian Trevelyan was born in Leith Hill, Surrey, on 20 February 1910, the only surviving child of the classical scholar and poet, Robert Calverley Trevelyan, and his Dutch wife, Elizabeth (née Des Amorie van der Hoeven). His paternal grandfather, Sir George Trevelyan, and his uncle, George Macaulay Trevelyan, were both distinguished historians.

Julian Trevelyan was educated at Bedales School, in Hampshire, before going up to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1928, to study English. While at Cambridge, he became a member of a group of students who produced the magazine,
Experiment, to promote an interest in Modernism. The magazine published his text devoted to dreams, in which he stated that ‘to dream is to create’. His friends within the group included Humphrey Jennings, who encouraged him to look at French painting, and particularly the work of the Surrealist, André Masson.

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