claude buckle water colour painting Into the Dawn

Claude Buckle RI RSMA 1905-1973 watercolour artist, a short history

The watercolour artist Claude Buckle in his studio

Centenary year of Claude Buckle

Claude Buckle from an early age had an enormous interest in art. He attended Grammar school in Wolverhampton and on leaving in 1922 joined Fry's Chocolates in Bristol as an assistant architect. He painted in his spare time and became one of the youngest amateur members of the British Savages Art Group. He obtained other positions as an architect and also travelled widely in France, Spain and North Africa recording many scenes that later formed much of the ideas for his water colour paintings.

These experiences gave Buckle the necessary confidence to become a freelance commercial artist and at the age of 26 he left full-time employment to concentrate his efforts as a professional. In 1932 he obtained his first railway poster commission at Southern railways.

 Racing off Ryde an oil painting in the possession of the national railway museum. A quad railway poster in oils

Racing off Ryde Railway Poster

During the pre-war years and after the war untill 1963 Buckle produced some 85 posters and 25 carriage prints for the railways making him one of the most prolific and recognised railway poster artists. He was very friendly with Terence Cuneo who he greatly admired.

Both artists have fine examples of original artwork in the National Railway Museum. An example of Buckle's work is shown on the left.

 The first Atomic power station under construction at Hinkley Point. A turning point in the short history of Claude Buckle

The Goliath Crane, Hinkley Point

During the late 1950's Claude Buckle was commissioned to paint a series of Oils and watercolours depicting the construction phase and the finished plants of the first emerging atomic power stations. In 1958 he was asked to paint in oils a scene depicting the construction of the first commercial atomic power station to be built in England. The picture measuring 18 feet by 24 feet and taking four months to paint is shown on the left and was exhibited at the British engineering stand at the 1958 Brussels World Fair. The construction crane shown in the picture was then the largest in the world.

Into the dawn, a classic watercolour painting  by the watercolour artist

Into The Dawn painted in 1967

From 1960 onwards , on the advice of Terence Cuneo, Buckle concentrated on being a watercolour artist. The paintings were sold through the Royal Institute of Painting for Water Colour, the Federation of British Artists and the Marine Society. In 1962 Buckle was invited to become a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours RI and was a member of the Royal Society for Marine Artists RSMA. Many painting were also exhibited in private galleries or sold to the print companies Medici and Royle's and collectors. He also held sales of his work in Marlborough, Wiltshire, London and in his studio. He produced an estimated 300 paintings of which one of the best known, "Into the Dawn" is shown on the left and at the top of the page.

A scene from the Ile de Re in France. Painting in watercolour. The last chapter of the short history.

Ile-de-Re 1972

The last years were spent in France on the Ile de Re where many fine watercolour paintings were conceived and brought back to the Studio in Vernham Dean for completion. Claude Buckle died in 1973 and for the memorial exhibition, held a few months after his death, Terence Cuneo very kindly wrote an appreciation.

This completes the short history of the watercolour artist Claude Buckle.