Framed (ref: 3586)
12 1/2 x 17 in. (31.6 x 43.1 cm)
Provenance: Acquired directly from the Artist's Daughter
Exhibited: Highgate Fine Art, date unknown, (cat. no. 10). - A Working Method,Young Gallery Salisbury, March- April 2016, Sotheran's, April-May 2016.
Literature: Charles Cundall - A Working Method, Edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, published by Liss Llewellyn Fine Art, February 2016.
Cundall submitted paintings of Avignon to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions of 1952, 1953 and 1964, the latter of which this plein air study is likely to relate to. Cundall travelled extensively in Europe both before the Second World War and afterwards and his rapidly painted sketches , made on the spot in either gouache or thinned oil, retain a vitality that he did not always manage to recreate in his more formal oil paintings worked up later in his studio.
The Pont Saint-Bénezet , also known as the Pont d'Avignon ,
originally spanned the Rhône River between Avignon and
Villeneuve-lès-Avignon. It was built between 1171 and 1185, with an
original length of some 900 m (2950 ft), but it suffered frequent
collapses during floods and had to be reconstructed several times. Over
the centuries, it became increasingly perilous as arches collapsed and
were replaced by rickety wooden sections.
The bridge was finally put out of use by a catastrophic flood in 1668, which swept away much of the structure. It was subsequently abandoned and no more attempts were made to repair it. Since then, its surviving arches have successively collapsed or been demolished, and only four of the initial 22 arches remain intact today.
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.