Lot 62
  • 62

Sir Alfred James Munnings, P.R.A., R.W.S.

Estimate
150,000 - 250,000 USD
Sold
237,500 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Lady Eleanor Smith's Arab Stallion
  • signed A.J. Munnings, (lower right) and inscribed Study of Arab Stallion / for picture of Lady Eleanor Smith / Daughter of Lord Birkenhead / at Charlton (upper left)
  • oil on panel
  • 11  3/4  x 16  1/4  inches

Provenance

E. J. Rousuck, New York
Private Collector, Connecticut (acquired from the above, 1953, and sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 2, 2001, lot 204, illustrated)
Richard Green, London 
Acquired from the above

Catalogue Note

Alfred Munnings first met Lady Eleanor Smith while visiting her family’s Charlton manor to complete a portrait of her father, Lord Birkenhead (Frederick Edwin Smith), a politician and friend of Winston Churchill. Munnings recalled Lady Eleanor, an accomplished English writer and reporter, as being “a striking girl” with “thick black hair in waves, brushed back from her forehead, a classic face, bronzed by the sun” and belonging to “the regions of romance” (Alfred Munnings, The Second Burst, London, 1951, p. 223). Munnings’ fondness for Lady Eleanor extends to the present portrait of her striding Arab stallion, rendered with individuality and vitality.  With the cool tones of blues and greens of the background, echoed in the horse’s glossy musculature, this study is a harmonious and striking composition of its own.  While it is uncertain precisely which composition this study later informed, Munnings recalls painting Lady Eleanor on her Arab stallion “carrying a banner like Excelsior, with the letters ‘Liberty’ written on it” (Munnings, p. 223).
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