Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Charles Cundall (1890-1971)   BIOGRAPHY

Study for Coastal Operational Training Unit (Limavady, Northern Ireland), circa 1942
Framed (ref: 45)
Oil on paper
14 x 42 in. (35.6 x 106.7 cm.)


Provenance: Acquired directly from the Artist's Daughter

Exhibited: - A Working Method,Young Gallery Salisbury, March- April 2016, Sotheran's, April-May 2016. 

WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Morley College London, 28 October -23 November 2016, cat 47.

Literature: Charles Cundall - A Working Method, Edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, published by Liss Llewellyn Fine Art, February 2016.

WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2016, cat 47, page 86-87.

This is a sketch for Coastal Operational Training Unit (RAF Museum, Hendon). When the finished painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1943, it was titled O.C.T.U. Station. Painted for the Nation’s War Records, no. 59. The setting (not indicated at the time for security reasons) is Limavady, Northern Ireland.

The painting shows Wellington bombers, the revolutionary (geodetic) aeroplane designed by Barnes Wallis in 1933; the Wellington MK II, introduced into service in 1940, was, according to the RAF Handbook, ‘a remarkably fine bomber … used extensively on night bombing raids on enemy targets, including those in Italy’ (Eric Sargent, circa 1941).

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