Len Tantillo

Len Tantillo

Len Tantillo
518 766-4542
Artist Fellow

Biography and Works

Len Tantillo is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Tantillo is a licensed architect who left the field of architecture in 1986 to pursue a career in the fine art of historical and marine painting. Since that time, his work has appeared internationally in exhibitions, publications and film documentaries. He is the author of four books, and the recipient of two honorary degrees. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Marine Artists. ...see more

His work is included in the collections of the Fenimore Art Museum, the Minnesota Museum of Marine Art, numerous historical societies, and corporate and private collections in the USA and abroad. In 2004 he was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to create a painting depicting the Daniel Winne house as it may have appeared in 1755. He has produced over 300 paintings and drawings of New York State history. In 2016 he was elected a Fellow of the New York Academy of History at Columbia University.


Artist's Work 1
Grumman Duck
L. F. Tantillo, 2020
oil on panel, 16 x 24

Leroy Grumman and his partners began their aircraft manufacturing business on Long Island in Baldwin, New York, in 1930. From its humble beginnings, the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation was to become inexorably associated with the most notable names in aviation history. The list of famous aircraft produced by Grumman is outstanding and includes these famous monikers: Wildcat, Avenger, Hellcat, Bearcat, Panther, Cougar, Intruder and Tomcat, just to name a few.
Artist's Work 2
P-47-C, Razorbacks, Wormingford, England, 1943
L. F. Tantillo, 2013
oil on canvas, 20 x 30 inches

The P-47 Thunderbolt was one of the sturdiest and most reliable of all American fighter aircraft during World War II. The P-47 served in both theaters of war, was used as a bomber escort, and as the War turned in favor of allied forces in Europe, the Thunderbolt was extremely effective as a ground attack fighter/bomber. Pilots lives were saved by the Thunderbolts ability to sustain devastating battle damage and still remain aloft. This painting depicts a typically wet and dreary English airfield in 1943 where P-47-C, Razorback Thunderbolts await mission orders. These airplanes have a special meaning for me. My wife’s dad was an engine fitter in the RAF stationed in Burma and his squadron was completely made up of P-47s. Of all the aircraft he had worked on, including Hurricanes and Spitfires, his favorite was the Thunderbolt
Artist's Work 3
Over the Ice
L. F. Tantillo, 1994
acrylic on panel, 14 x 20 inches

For many years the task of supplying remote U.S. military installations in the wilderness of Greenland’s vast tundra was that of the 109th Airlift Wing from Stratton Air National Guard Base, Scotia, New York. Diligent crews flew mission after mission, sometimes in unbelievable weather conditions, providing the only lifeline to base personnel. The success of these operations was in no small part due to the outstanding performance of the Lockheed C-130D Hercules, the dependable, seemingly ageless, workhorse of the United States Air Force. This image depicts a “Herky Bird” near Sondrestrom, Greenland in 1978. This commissioned painting was presented to Major General Lawrence A. Maciariello, USAF, Chief of Staff for the New York Air National Guard upon his retirement. General Maciariello flew many missions in these ubiquitous aircraft.
Artist's Work 4
Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin
L. F. Tantillo, 1995
acrylic on panel, 29 x 36 inches

Many years ago, while attending an airshow at the Rhinebeck Aerodrome in upstate New York, I had the opportunity of photographing their airworthy Sopwith Dolphin. Almost entirely overshadowed by Sopwith’s famous radial engine aircraft the Camel and Pup, the Dolphin with its unusual wing arrangement and in-line engine, never the less, played an important role in Britain’s Royal Flying Corps during World War I. Dolphins served primarily as a scouting aircraft on the Western Front. In the painting I’ve set the aircraft high above the English countryside circa 1918. Two thousand Dolphins were built from the time of its first flight in May of 1917.
Artist's Work 5
A Sailor’s Return
L. F. Tantillo, 1997
acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11 inches

Winner of the 1999 Award of Excellence at the Mystic International Exhibition, Mystic Seaport, this painting depicts one of the most rewarding experiences in the rigorous life of all sailors, coming home. Although it is set in an American port in the 18th century it could be any time period and any harbor. The vitality of the image is expressed in the body language of the figure. The spring of his step, the swing of his arm, and the ease with which he carries his duffle bag.
Artist's Work 6
A View of Rondout, New York, 1883
L. F. Tantillo, 2019
oil on canvas, 24 x 46 inches

By the 1880s Rondout, New York, was a bustling Hudson River port. Rondout is located at the junction of the Hudson and the Rondout Creek about 150 miles north of New York City. Some of the most elegant side-wheel steamboats ever built made daily landings along its mile-long quay. Rondout was the homeport of the “Mary Powell” often referred to as the “Queen of the Hudson.” Additionally, the town marked the eastern terminus of the Delaware & Hudson Canal that linked the middle of New York State with the coal mines of Pennsylvania. Literally thousands of barges carried millions of tons of coal supplying nearly all of the needs of New York, New Jersey and Western New England. This painting is intended to give viewers a sense of the vitality of that extraordinary community at the height of its dynamic history.
Artist's Work 7
Schoharie Depot, 1906
L. F. Tantillo, 2014
oil on canvas, 20 x 36 inches

Short line railroads were common across New York State and elsewhere well into the 20th century. They were privately owned and often operated over only a few miles. The purpose they served was to connect rural areas to the main line tracks of larger operations. They were derogatorily referred to as “milk run” trains. In the case of the Schoharie Valley Railroad that name was absolutely accurate since their primary customer was the Borden Dairy Plant, whose facility was adjacent to the SVRR depot. The painting actually depicts all of SVRR’s rolling stock and their one and only depot. One locomotive, one tender, and one passenger car, that was it. The freight cars transporting the milk were owned by the Delaware & Hudson Railroad Company and merely transported by SVRR to and from the Borden plant to the main line tracks of the connecting station less than a dozen miles away.
Artist's Work 8
Raid on New York
L. F. Tantillo, 2013
oil on canvas, 20 x 30 inches

In August of 1673, the combined Dutch squadrons of Admiral Cornelius Evertsen and Admiral Jacob Benckes made a bold attack on the English held city of New York. At that time the city and former Dutch colony of New Netherland had been under English rule for nearly ten years. The Dutch force consisted of twelve ships and approximately 1600 men. They had amassed a number of strategic victories over English settlements from South America to Virginia, causing significant disruption to British trade, including the temporary interruption of tobacco exportation.
Artist's Work 9
Contact, USS Slater, 1944
L. F. Tantillo, 2010
oil on canvas, 17 x 24 inches

By 1942 trans-Atlantic supplying of goods to war torn England from the USA had become extremely dangerous. Nazi submarines were inflicting catastrophic damage to allied shipping. Hundreds of war ships would be needed to escort the continuous flow of merchant vessels through deadly sea lanes. By the end of World War II the United States had produced 503 vessels of this type in various configurations to meet the changing defensive roles of an enemy that was devolving into defeat.
Artist's Work 10

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