A Flock of Red-breasted Geese

A Flock of Red-breasted Geese



Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe, R.A. (1901-1979)
A Flock of Red-breasted Geese

Signed lower right: C.F. Tunnicliffe
Watercolour and bodycolour over pencil
31.5 by 66 cm., 12 1/4 by 26 in.

Tunnicliffe is probably the best known British wildlife artist of the second half of the 20th century. Born in Langley, east Cheshire, the son of a shoemaker, he was encouraged to draw by his parents and trained as an artist at Manchester School of Art. Later, in 1921, he was awarded a Royal Exhibition to the Royal College of Art where he specialised in engraving. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1934 and became a Royal Academician in 1954.

In 1929 Tunnicliffe married Winifred Wonnacott, a fellow student at the Royal College of Art who shared his passion for natural history. After their married they moved to Macclesfield and he began his record of the birds of Britain working in watercolour, gouache and ink. In the 1930s his reputation grew as an illustrator and engraver and he held his first one-man show in 1938, at the Arthur Greatorex Galleries in London. In 1942, he published his first book, `My Country Book' and in 1947, he bought Shorelands, a house on the Cefni estuary at Malltraeth on the south coast of Anglesey, where he lived for the rest of his life.

He exhibited continuously at the Royal Academy from 1938 until 1978, culminating in a major exhibition of his drawings and sketchbooks at the Royal Academy in 1974. In 1954, he was made vice-president of the RSPB and in 1968 of the Society of Wild Life Artists. In 1975 he was awarded the gold medal of the RSPB and in 1978 he was appointed OBE.