C F Tunnicliffe - The Cherry Tree

Wood engraving: C. F. Tunnicliffe

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Wood engraving by C. F. Tunnicliffe

‘I find myself in memory a long time under the cherry tree . . . There I have watched night take ultimate possession of the earth with a huge sigh in the leaves. I have been among its boughs, too, after the spare fruit, the gay baubles of cherries, when the wind has rocked the tree, and I have felt myself riding the air, rising and falling as with the breath of some cosmic trance.’

We’re celebrating our summer edition, Adrian Bell’s wonderful memoir The Cherry Tree, which completes his trilogy of Suffolk country life between the wars. In July we visited Harris & Harris bookshop in Clare, not too far from Adrian Bell’s small farm, Silver Ley.

This woodcut by C. F. Tunnicliffe illustrated Slightly Foxed Editor Hazel’s article on The Cherry Tree in SF Issue 54. Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe was born in Macclesfield in 1901. He grew up on a farm in Sutton around the wildlife which would later influence his work, and studied at the Macclesfield School of Art before gaining a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. Tunnicliffe worked with several media, including watercolour, oil painting, etching and wood engraving. He is best known for his closely observed depictions of birds and wildlife, which he portrayed within their natural settings as part of the landscape. His illustrations have been used in over 250 books by various publishers including Faber & Faber, Cambridge University Press and Harper Collins. Tunnicliffe was elected a Royal Academician in 1954, and an exhibition of his work opens at the Royal Academy of Arts this month.


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