Rinaldo Cuneo was born into a musically and artistically talented family of Italian immigrants who lived in the North Beach area of San Francisco. He and his two brothers, Cyrus (1879–1916) and Egisto (1890–1972), would become noted painters of the early twentieth century; two lived in California, and one lived in England. Other family members were founders of the Tivoli Opera Company in San Francisco. In 1910, Rinaldo Cuneo studied at the California School of Design with Arthur Mathews and Gottardo Piazzoni. The following year he went to London to visit his brother Cyrus and to Paris for further studies at the Académie Colarossi. Returning to California in 1912, he opened a studio and began exhibiting his work. His San Francisco studio on Telegraph Hill offered a panoramic view of the bay. To supplement his income, he worked at the Crowley Launch and Tugboat Company, and the waterfront became a favorite subject matter. One such work is The Embarcadero at Night, circa 1927–28 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). During the 1920s, he painted numerous cityscapes, which garnered him the title “The Painter of San Francisco.” In 1934, he was one of several artists commissioned by the Public Works of Art Project to paint murals in the newly constructed Coit Tower.
Works in Our Collection
San Francisco Seascape
Oil on canvas, c. 1928
24 x 29 inches
Partial gift of Peter Benedek and partial museum purchase with funds provided through prior gift of Lois Outerbridge