Sir Alfred J. Munnings, P.R.A., 1878-1959
- Sir Alfred J. Munnings, P.R.A., 1878-1959
- Leaving the Paddock at Epsom Downs
- Signed A.J. Munnings (lower right)
- Oil on canvas
Mrs. Payne Whitney, New York (by 1951)
Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney (by descent from the above )
New York, Wildenstein Gallery, Alfred J. Munnings: Images of the Turf and Field, 1983, no. 61
Saratoga Springs, National Museum of Racing, A Selection of Equestrian Art from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney, 1989, no. 29
Sir Alfred J. Munnings was fascinated by the energy and excitement of the racecourse. Being an avid follower of the turf and a true horseman himself, Munnings here expertly imparts the excitement and tension that build prior to a race. He shows the number-four horse moving with an agitated, bouncy stride, and the horse's neck is arched as he pulls at the bit. Munnings contains the energy of the scene within the confines of the number boards, beyond which he depicts the other horses settling in for the race. The atmospheric clouds complement the movement of the scene and seem to dissolve off to the right of the composition. This painting relates closely to Munnings' larger treatment of the same subject, Going Out at Epsom.
Inheriting much from Impressionism, this work shows Munnings as a creative artist who, with fluid strokes of color, combines his perceptive eye, his appreciation of light and the innate spirit of the racing scene to create a moment of pure artistry. With supreme confidence, acquired during his years of training as a lithographer, he is able to apply paint economically in a fluid yet deliberate manner while simultaneously keeping the colors fresh.
We are grateful to Lorian Peralta-Ramos for her assistance in cataloguing this painting.