Robert Meyrick, Harry Heuser
Mr B's review
A stunning overdue catalogue of the prints of a sometimes overlooked nature artist who during his twentieth century career produced an incredible portfolio of wood engravings and etchings depicting animals and their habitats. Scenes of arduous farm labour sit alongside many book illustrations, including his celebrated work on Tarka the Otter. But the show is consistently stolen by the portraits of birds, bulls, shire horses and countryside fauna, with the tone set by the cover’s noble barn owl.
A farmer’s son from Cheshire, British artist Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe (1901-79) won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in 1920. He went on to work in numerous mediums, his favored subject matter being Britain’s native birds and other fauna, always depicted punctiliously and yet, unusually for the time, in their natural habitats. Renowned as the illustrator of the 1932 edition of Henry Williamson’s Tarka the Otter and numerous Brooke Bond tea cards (popular collector’s items in Britain in the postwar period), Tunnicliffe lived on the Welsh island of Anglesey for more than 30 years. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1954. This handsome catalogue raisonne of his prints, over 430 in number, includes lavish illustrations and authoritative annotations by the printmaking authorities Robert Meyrick and Harry Heuser.
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