Edward Burra, the intriguing artist you’ve never heard of ?

Edward Burra (1905-1976) was, indeed, an English painter and printmaker I had never heard of before. Best known for his depictions of the urban underworld, black culture and the Harlem scene of the 1930s, he never spoke much about his artworks and rarely gave any interviews.

Perhaps then, due to this ‘mysterious aura’, many have tried to find out more about Burra and study his life: In a previous post, I shared my findings on Eileen Agar, also featured in Sussex Modernism. Her works were so easily found and present in so many art websites; her wikipedia page, however, somewhat short.

My experience in researching Burra was almost the opposite. Not half the number of Agar’s works (although he did have them, perhaps just not online), but an incredibly full wikipedia page, as well as several pages about him on Pallant’s Edward Burra Education Pack and a BBC documentary drawing on his life.


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