Cuneo, Cyrus Cincinatto (1879-1916) by Scholes, Robert

Cyrus Cincinatto Cuneo (1879 – 1916)

He was born in San Francisco, CA in 1879, where he studied at the Mark Hopkins Institute before going to Paris, where he studied at the Carlo Rossi Academy for nearly four years. Before his second year was out, Ciro had become Whistler’s massier or head student and had bolstered his income by giving boxing lessons. These not only paid the rent, but were also responsible for starting the vogue of boxing throughout the Latin Quarter. In 1910 when King Edward died, Ciro found himself working literally day and night in the office of the Illustrated London News, on spread after spread of the funeral and subsequent George V Coronation drawing. When the 1914 war broke out he moved smoothly onto war subjects, without being affected by the collapse of many of the peacetime periodicals. His war paintings were widely admired and one canvas, auctioned in 1915, raised enough to buy two ambulances which went to France, each bearing the inscription “The Cyrus Cuneo Ambulance”. There are different versions of the accident that caused his death, but it seems certain that he died of blood poisoning at the age of 37. He did a lot of work as an illustrator, a field in which his bold, hard images worked very well. His son Terrence has followed closely in his father’s footsteps as an artist.

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