Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Charles Cundall (1890-1971)   BIOGRAPHY

Hatson Airfield, Orkney, circa 1941
Framed (ref: 46)
Oil on paper
15 x 40 in. (38.1 x 101.6 cm.)


Provenance: the artist's wife, Jaqueline Pieterson

The painting depicts Hurricanes and Albacores at the Joint Fleet Air Arm and RAF base at Hatson on mainland Orkney. The spire of St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, is visible in the background. Hurricanes were situated in most ports in the early years of the War to provide Defence Flights. They were also sometimes used by the Navy for Catapult Armed Merchantmen - CAM. The Albacore, introduced in 1939 to replace the Swordfish, served as a Fleet Air Arm Torpedo-spotter-reconnaissance biplane.

We are grateful to Andrew Cormack (RAF Hendon), David C. Reid (Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum) 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