Art Charles Tun­ni­cliffe Prints: A Cat­a­logue Raisonné

Country Life Every Week - - Books -

Robert Meyrick and Harry Heuser (Royal Acad­emy of Arts, £35)

this is the fourth in the royal Acad­emy’s (ra) series of cat­a­logues raisonné of 20th-cen­tury print­maker Aca­demi­cians.

cheshire-born charles tun­ni­cliffe trained at Mac­cles­field School of Art be­fore pro­gress­ing via Manch­ester and a schol­ar­ship to the royal col­lege of Art, where he stud­ied in the Paint­ing School. On grad­u­a­tion, Mal­colm Os­borne, the Pro­fes­sor of en­grav­ing, per­suaded him to stay on a fur­ther year and, in 1924, he pro­duced his first etch­ing, a copy of a rem­brandt self-por­trait.

etch­ing re­mained his prin­ci­pal medium un­til 1932, when he made four il­lus­tra­tions in­spired by Henry Wil­liamson’s Tarka the Ot­ter, which he sent to its pub­lish­ers, G. P. Put­nam. the firm’s di­rec­tors and the au­thor were im­pressed and per­suaded him to try wood en­grav­ing; later that year, they pub­lished a new, pop­u­lar, five-shilling edi­tion com­plete with 24 full-page il­lus­tra­tions plus vi­gnette draw­ings.

From that point on, un­til 1950, wood en­grav­ing be­came his pre­ferred print medium. tun­ni­cliffe was a coun­try­man through and through and vir­tu­ally all the 435 prints re­pro­duced here, from Load­ing the Muck Cart (1928) to A Stag in the Copse (1949), re­flect his farm­ing back­ground and love of na­ture. He told one re­viewer: ‘It’s got to be ei­ther nat­u­ral his­tory or farm­ing or some­thing like that be­fore I am even com­fort­able about it.’

An ac­com­pa­ny­ing ex­hi­bi­tion, ‘Sec­ond na­ture: the Art of charles tun­ni­cliffe ra’ is at the ra, ten­nant Gallery, Pic­cadilly, Lon­don W1, un­til Oc­to­ber 8 (www.roy­ala­ Pey­ton Skip­with

Long-eared owl (1954)

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