Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Charles Cundall (1890-1971)   BIOGRAPHY

Lancaster MK. I, circa 1942
Framed (ref: 486)
Thinned oil on paper, 13 3/8 x 19 5/8 in. (34 ◊ 50 cm.)


Provenance: Jacqueline Pietersen, the artistís wife; thence by descent

As an official war artist with the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, (Captain)Charles Cundall produced some of the most memorable images of the Second World War, not least his epic Withdrawal from Dunkirk 1940
(Imperial War Museum).

The most famous British bomber of the war, the Lancaster, flew on many
famous sorties: the Dambusterís Raid, the daylight raid on Augsburg and the
sinking of the German battleship Tirpitz. Forming the backbone of the British
bombing offensive, Lancasters inflicted decisive and crippling damage on
enemy factories and installations. The bottom of the fuselage was painted
black to avoid detection during night-time bombing raids. The Lancaster was operational from March 1942; during the war years 7,377 of these aircraft were built.

We are grateful to Andrew Cormack and Peter Till for assistance.

Charles Cundall (1890-1971)

Painter, potter and stained glass artist, born in Stratford, Lancashire. After working as a designer for Pilkington's Pottery Company under Gordon Forsyth, Cundall studied at Manchester School of Art, obtaining a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, 1912. After World War I army service he returned to the Royal College in 1918, then from 1919 to 1920 attended the Slade, and furthered his studies in Paris. Cundall traveled widely in several continents and became noted for his panoramic pictures, such as Bank Holiday Brighton, in the Tate Gallery (accession no. NO4700). He was a member of NEAC, RP, RWS and other bodies and was a prolific RA exhibitor. He had first solo show at Colnaghi 1927. He was an Official War Artist in World War II, during which time he was sent to Quebec (1944). In the same year he was elected RA. His wife was the artist Jacqueline Pietersen.

His technical facility - especially when working on large panoramic canvases - was remarkable. His pictures are rich with texture, light and movement. He was equally at ease with aerial views, landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes, and was a master of crowd scenes. His work as an Official War Artist has never received the attention it merits.

See all works by Charles Cundall