Edmund Blampied R.E. (1886-1966)

Edmund Blampied was one of the most eminent artists to come from the Channel Islands. Born in St. Martin, Jersey in 1886, he was noted most for his etchings and drypoints, but was also a lithographer, caricaturist, cartoonist, book illustrator and artist in oils, watercolours and bronze.

He studied at Lambeth School of Art under Philip Connard and Thomas McKeggie then later transferred to the LCC School of Photo-engraving and Lithography. In 1905 he joined the Daily Chronicle as an artist, leaving in 1912 to set up his own studio illustrating novels and short stories.

The 1920s were Blampied's most successful decade. His first solo exhibition of etchings and drypoints was held at the Leicester Galleries in 1920 and he later exhibited his paintings and drawings there in 1923 and 1925. He regularly exhibited at the Royal Society of Painter Etchers and Engravers and the Senefelder Club of British lithographers and was made a member of the Council of both societies for periods between 1924 and 1938. In 1929 a major exhibition of his watercolours and oils was held at the galleries of Alex Reid and Lefevre.

In the 1930s he spent some time focussed upon the humorous side of his work, producing a folio of comic drawings published in New York in 1934 and a further collection in London in 1936. He returned to Jersey in 1938 and was trapped there for almost 5 years by the German Occupation of the island until its liberation in 1945. During this period he was unable to remain in contact with publishers and art dealers, and had great trouble obtaining artists' materials.

Throughout his career Edmund Blampied produced some 200 etchings and drypoints, and more than 80 lithographs and lithographic prints, many of which depicted rural life in his beloved island of Jersey. His scenes of collecting seaweed, called 'vraic', from the beaches of the island using a horse and cart were, he said, his signature tune.

He was a prolific illustrator and over 600 issues of magazines and newspapers have been recorded containing his work between 1905 and 1939. His illustrations appear in around 50 books, and he designed the dust jacket for some 150 other books, mostly novels.

Blampied's work is held in the collections throughout the UK including the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Leeds City Art Gallery, Glasgow City Art Gallery, as well as overseas in Australia and in museums throughout the USA.

He was elected a member of R.B.A. in 1938

View Slideshow