Charles Cundall 1890-1971 – Part 1

This is thought to be a study for Bordeaux refugees at Falmouth
© The Artist’s Estate c/o Liss Llewellyn Fine Art

Charles Cundall 1890-1971

Edited by Sacha Llewellyn and Paul Liss
(Liss Llewellyn Fine Art (, £25)

Charles Cundall RA was a brush for all seasons. Like the late Julian Barrow, despite being a working artist, he painted as much for pleasure as for gain – it was his lifeblood. His lightness of touch and sensitiveness to the nuances of tone are immediately evident in the many oil-on-paper sketches that form the bulk of a new exhibition in Salisbury. Most of these sketches are shorthand notes made en plein air to be worked up later in the studio. The resulting large canvasses were regularly shown in the RA Summer Exhibition, in which Cundall
appeared for more than 50 years, or created to be shown to prospective clients. He was a safe pair of hands, who could be trusted with any commission,
particularly crowd scenes – state occasions, Derby Day, football at Stamford Bridge, Henley Regatta, the withdrawal from Dunkirk, the wartime Operations Room at Uxbridge or more mundanely, the building of power stations and steelworks.

Artists like Cundall are the bedrock of art: sound, not especially original, but capable of giving lasting pleasure and
creating records of historic importance. This excellent, copiously illustrated book/catalogue, produced by Liss Llewellyn Fine Art to accompany the exhibition, includes William Gaunts 1967 typescript for a previously unpublished monograph on Cundall
commissioned by Sir Harald Peake.

‘Charles Cundall: A Working Method’ is at Young Gallery, Market Place, Salisbury, Wiltshire, until April 21 (01722 343275) and then at Sotheran’s, 2-5 Sackville Street, London W1, April 28-May 7 (020-7439 6151)