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Royal Scot By Terence Tenison Cuneo

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Royal Scot By Terence Tenison Cuneo

- Item No.

Architectural beauty and locomotive power are fluently expressed in this outstanding composition

Key Features

  • A beautiful portrait of the Royal Scot traveling over the Britannia Bridge by Terence Tenison Cuneo
  • The painting commemorates the bridge before it was destroyed by fire in 1970
  • His trademark mouse can be seen in many of his compositions
  • His talents earned him the appointment as the official artist of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation
  • Signed "Terence Cuneo August 1970" (lower right); oil on canvas
  • Canvas: 36 1/4" high x 50 1/8" wide; Frame: 43 7/8" high x 58 1/8" wide

Item Details

  • Width:
    C: 50 1/8 F: 58 1/8 Inches
  • Height:
    C: 36 1/4 F: 43 7/8 Inches
  • Period:
    20th Century
  • Origin:
    England/Ireland
  • Subject:
    Miscellaneous
  • Artist:
    Cuneo, Terence Tenison
Terence Tenison Cuneo
1907-1996 British

Royal Scot on the Britannia Bridge, Menai Straits

Signed and dated "Terence Cuneo August 1970" (lower right)
Oil on canvas

Canvas: 36 1/4" high x 50 1/8" wide
Frame: 43 7/8" high x 58 1/8" wide

Recognized for his paintings of royalty, war, cowboys and wilderness subjects, the trademark vibrancy of Terence Tenison Cuneo's artwork is most evident in his compositions of locomotives. His gift for interpreting the power produced when steel is propelled by the force of a steam engine has made his railway portraits the most sought after by collectors.

This particular work entitled Royal Scot on the Britannia Bridge, Menai Straits was a special commission to commemorate the famed bridge shortly after it was destroyed by fire in 1970. Sir Richard Summers, a former railways director, called upon Cuneo in distress shortly after the incident, requesting the artist paint the bridge as it appeared at the height of its beauty, before it was demolished or altered in an attempt to repair it. Upon the Britannia, the artist placed the Royal Scot, a stunning steam powered train that was the first of its class in express passenger locomotives. Detailing the Royal Scot nestled between the massive Egyptian lions of the Britannia Bridge, Cuneo pays homage to both the architecturally brilliant span and the powerful locomotive.

Cuneo hailed from a family of artists and gained his formal art education at the Slade School of Art. Upon graduation, he earned jobs illustrating for books, magazines and other periodicals. With the onset of World War II, Cuneo got a position with the War Artist Advisory Committee, painting aircraft factories and various wartime events. The stunning detail in which he translated the brute strength of planes, tanks and machinery on canvas earned him commissions after the war for various train, roadway and bridge subjects. 

It wasn't until Cuneo's appointment as the official artist of Queen Elizabeth II coronation in 1953 that the artist gained world-wide attention. He continued to paint the Queen well into her reign, along with many other historical figures including Sir Winston Churchill. 

The most intriguing and whimsical aspect of Cuneo's paintings is the inclusion of a tiny mouse hidden somewhere on the canvas. Whether cartoonish or realistic, the mouse is a trademark he added to many of his works, including those of even his most famous subjects.

Cuneo earned many honors during his adventurous career, including being inducted into the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and the Royal Victorian Order (CVO). In commemoration of his extraordinary talent, a life-size bronze memorial statue of Cuneo resides in the main concourse at Warterloo Station in London, complete with a tiny mouse hiding at his feet. His alma mater, the Slade Art School, has created a scholarship in his name. 

Artist's Museums:
Guidehall Art Gallery, London
Royal Institution, London

References:
The Mouse and His Master: The Life and Work of Terence Cuneo, 1977, New Cavendish Books
British Artists 1880-1940, 1990, Antique Collectors Club
Painting by William Bouguereau

Collecting 19th Century Art

Nineteenth century art has exploded on the market over the past two or three decades, fetching prices that have made critics take notice. Read More »

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