Terence Cuneo (b.1907; d.1996)

Terence-Cuneo-and-paintingTerence Cuneo was born in London, the son of Cyrus and Nell Cuneo, artists who met whilst studying with Whistler in Paris. Cuneo studied at the Chelsea Polytechnic from 1924 to 1927 before working as an illustrator for magazines, books and periodicals (like his father). In 1936 Cuneo started working in oils, whilst continuing with his illustration work. During the war he worked for the War Artists Advisory Committee providing illustrations of aircraft factories and wartime events. Cuneo was personally commissioned to do work for the MOI by Edwin Embleton. Cuneo was a member of the London Sketch Club in the 1940s, and was an ‘establishment artist for much of the latter half of the twentieth century’. He painted portraits, including the Coronation of 1953, and was an artist to industry, ‘renowned for his work portraying mines, dams, industrial processes, but above all his railway scenes’.Post-war Cuneo was commissioned to produce a series of railway posters; locomotive, track, locomotive works and bridges, a subject with which Cuneo was fascinated, and work for which he became renowned. Commissioned to portray the Coronation in 1953, his name was brought before a world-wide public, receiving many more commissions for portraits, depictions of industry, regimental commissions and battle scenes. On his own account, Cuneo also covered a wide range of subjects, including ‘big game in Africa, landscapes and his famous “mouse paintings”‘, from which his trademark, a small mouse, developed.

His works can be found in museums in: London, H.M. The Queen Moth, Guildhall Art Gallery, H.M. The Queen and the Royal Institution. The family of Terence Cuneo are also looking to establish an archive of his work, covering railway, military and equestrian art, including work commissioned by the Queen.


Information collated from: The Guild of Railway Artists, ‘Railway Art Galley: Terence Cuneo Biography’,, Access 28 August 2003; Questionnaire submitted by Royall, K. to Embleton, E., Royall, K., ‘Posters of the Second World War: The Fourth Arm of British Defence’, Unpublished M.A., University of Westminster, 1991, p.123; Farman, J., ‘’,, accessed October 03 2003; Terence Cuneo Family, ‘About Terence Cuneo’,, accessed August 28 2003

Waterloo: Ever noticed this statue?

Statue of Terence Cuneo by Philip Jackson at Waterloo Station, London.

By Second World War Posters

Mass Communications Academic, @MMUBS. British Home Front Propaganda posters as researched for a PhD completed 2004. In 1997, unwittingly wrote the first history of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, which she now follows with interest.

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