subhead2.png

Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe

Charles Tunnicliffe, born in Cheshire in 1901, was prominent nature illustrator, best known for his birds, which rival Sibley's or Audubon's. Just look at the detail in this raven:

Cigfran / Raven (rhan o gasgliad darluniau mesuredig gan) by Charles F. Tunnicliffe

What is less know is that there were plenty of cats in his wildlife portfolio, and he seems to have had a thing for Siamese.





This one is my favorite--a wood engraving of a queen and her kittens:


This study, from a disbound sketchbook, was published in ‘How to Draw Farm Animals’ (The Studio, 1949).

When Tunnicliffe passed away in 1979 he left an astonishing legacy. His illustrations had appeared in over 400 books and he had submitted six artworks annually to the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, nearly all selling on the first day. His studio contained countless sketchbooks, all filled with remarkable studies of landscapes and wildlife. He had created well over 300 of his treasured measured drawings, none of which were intended for public display.


In 1981, his estate put the contents of his studio up for sale at Christie's auction house in London. Before the sale, Anglesey Council, with the financial help of the RSPB, Shell Oil Company and the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, managed to purchase the entire collection from the family, bringing it into public ownership on the island he and his wife had made their home.


Formed in 1990 to house the Charles F. Tunnicliffe collection, Oriel Môn is an art gallery and museum at the heart of Anglesey, Wales where you can much of his delightful body of work.