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Jonathan Meades on Edward Burra

Episode 1 of 9

4 Extra Debut. Writer Jonathan Meades chooses English artist Edward Burra, who died in 1976 relatively unknown. With Matthew Parris. From 2014.

Writer Jonathan Meades nominates the English artist Edward Burra, who died in 1976, for "great life" status, arguing that he deserves to be better known.

Burra painted sailors, drinkers and prostitutes in Toulon; jazz musicians in Harlem; surreal wartime pictures of soldiers in terrifying bird masks; and, in his later years, landscapes in which anthropomorphic and malevolent machines bite chunks out of the countryside. Disabled with rheumatoid arthritis from an early age, Burra barely went to school and so escaped the Edwardian upper class upbringing that would otherwise have been his destiny. At once camp yet apparently celibate, Burra was intensely private and disliked talking about either himself or art - or, as he called it, "fart".

Matthew Parris chairs the discussion, and is joined by Burra's biographer Jane Stevenson.

Producer: Jolyon Jenkins

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2014.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Fri 13 Mar 2020 00:30

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Role Contributor
Presenter Matthew Parris
Interviewed Guest Jonathan Meades
Interviewed Guest Jane Stevenson
Producer Jolyon Jenkins


  • Tue 5 Aug 2014 16:30
  • Wed 17 Sep 2014 09:00
  • Wed 17 Sep 2014 21:30
  • Thu 12 Mar 2020 18:30
  • Fri 13 Mar 2020 00:30

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