THE curator of a Hampshire art gallery has given an illustrated talk to Alresford Art Society.

Tim Craven, curator of Southampton City Art Gallery, gave a talk tracing the life, passions and artistic development of Norman Thelwell, from his early years and formative wartime experiences to his subsequent rise to become one of the nation’s best-known and loved cartoonists of his era.

Thelwell’s international fame was boosted by his most iconic and instantly recognised subject of small, fat, hairy ponies ridden at full-tilt by alarming young ladies. The term Thelwell pony is now part of the English language.

Thelwell loved the Hampshire countryside and lived for many years in Timsbury. He was an early and passionate campaigner for the environment and his many cartoons of factory farming, the destruction of habitat and pollution came together in his 1971 publication, The Effluent Society.

His greatest love though was for his ‘serious’ watercolour landscapes, a medium of which he was a true master. Craven explained these art historical influences: the Romantic Movement, JMW Turner, John Sell Cotman and Roland Hilder in particular.

Thelwell’s distinctive and evocative paintings reflected his profound love for the English countryside and members were delighted to be able to see original artwork and cartoons by Thelwell and meet his son David, who was a special guest at the society’s Christmas meeting.

Message from the editor

Thank you for reading this story. We really appreciate your support.

Please help us to continue bringing you all the trusted news from Winchester by sharing this story or by following our Facebook page, click this link and hit like.

Kimberley Barber