Terence Cuneo (1907–1996)

 

Cover illustration for the Victory Issue of the 'Illustrated London News', 12th May 1945 (colour litho), by Terence Cuneo
Cover illustration for the Victory Issue of the 'Illustrated London News', 12th May 1945 (colour litho), by Terence Cuneo

 

Terence  Cuneo  is an English painter and illustrator famous for his detailed scenes of railways and military action and has been a popular Bridgeman Copyright Artist for years. We are delighted to welcome new imagery in the archive for licensing.
 

An Artistic Heritage

His parents were illustrators: the American-born Cyrus Cuneo (1879–1916) and Nell Tenison (1867–1953) who met while studying under Whistler. They gave Cuneo his initial instruction in art, but his main training was at Chelsea School of Art and the Slade School. In the 1930s he worked primarily as an illustrator for magazines, books and periodicals, such as “The Illustrated London News”.
 
 
For Queen and Country
 
After the Second World War (in which he served in the Royal Engineers) he turned more to painting. A significant point in his career was his appointment as official artist for the Coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953. He received more commissions from industry, which included depicting manufacturing, mineral extraction and road building. Further success was achieved in his commissions for portraits which included Field Marshal Montgomery.

 

First Air Mail, 1978 (oil on canvas) by Terence Cuneo (1907-96) / Private Collection (detail)
First Air Mail, 1978 (oil on canvas) by Terence Cuneo (1907-96) / Private Collection (detail)

 

Trains, Planes and Automobiles... and a small mouse

When the War was over, Cuneo was commissioned to produce a series of works illustrating railways, bridges and locomotives. Since 1953, his paintings have always included a small mouse, his trademark, which can be difficult to find. See an example from his painting Night Freight below.

 

Night Freight (Condor) (oil on canvas) by Terence Cuneo (1907-96) / Private Collection / Photo © Bonhams, London, UK
Night Freight (Condor) (oil on canvas) by Terence Cuneo (1907-96) / Private Collection / Photo © Bonhams, London, UK

 

 

Detail from Night Freight with signature mouse
Detail from Night Freight with signature mouse

 

Images for Licensing
 
Cuneo is an artist who observes and records with the minutiae of detail, catching the mood of Britain in the 1950s and early 1960s. He maintained  a popular following, especially among railway enthusiasts, and a prodigious work rate until his death in 1996.
 
His work has been used for book jackets, railway posters, jigsaws and Royal Mail stamps. Cuneo's work can be found in many museums and galleries, including Guildhall, the National Railway Museum and the Royal Institution. Contact us for image licensing enquiries.
 
 
 

 

 Racing Cars, 1950 by Terence Cuneo (1907-96) / Private Collection / Photo © Bonhams, London, UK
Racing Cars, 1950 by Terence Cuneo (1907-96) / Private Collection / Photo © Bonhams, London, UK

 


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