Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Charles Cundall (1890-1971)   BIOGRAPHY

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The Meta Sudans in Rome as a War Memorial, early 1920's
Mounted (ref: 5969)
38 x 53 cm


This watercolour is a 'capriccio', a re-elaboration of the ancient Rome Meta Sudans fountain with a laurel wreath and a statue and a plaque dated 1918 added in the manner of a war memorial.  The ruins of Meta Sudans -  though only its brick and concrete core - survived until 1936 when Mussolini had its remains demolished and paved over to make room for the new traffic circle around the Colosseum. Having served during the war in The Artist's Rifles Cundall was invalided out in 1916, wounding  his right arm, as a result of which he had to learn to paint thereafter with  his left hand.  In the early 1920's Cundall married a fellow student N.J.Pietersen and they travelled together through France and Italy when this watercolour is likely to have been produced.

Provenance: The Phoenix Gallery, Lavenham

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