Thursday, September 29, 2011

Drawing on archaeology

Bringing history to life is the subtitle of this book of archaeological illustrations by Victor Ambrus. The artist's original claim to fame was as an illustrator of children's books being awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal  in 1965 and 1975. Since 1994 Victor Ambrus has been the illustrator on the Time Team television program where his role is to pictorially interpret the finds and times explored in each program in order to show how people lived. The book contains a collection of his reconstruction drawings and sketches for programs recorded between 2001 and 2005.

In the book's introduction Mick Aston discusses the importance of the show using an illustrator to portray the daily life of the people who lived at the sites being evacuated - "In these days of computers and graphics packages, some have questioned the role of the traditional artist working with pencil, paper and watercolours.  ... Even the most sophisticated computer graphic illustrations cannot capture the feeling and detail that Victor puts into his pictures."

This collection of illustrations helps document thousands of years of British history from prehistoric times to World War II.

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