Lot 79
  • 79

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

Estimate
100,000 - 150,000 USD
Sold
100,000 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • A Hunting Morn
  • signed A. J. Munnings (lower left) 
  • oil on canvas
  • Image:  16  5/8  x 22  5/8  inches
    Framed:  23 x 29  inches

Provenance

W. Boswell & Son, Norwich
Sale: London, Sotheby's, May 1, 1991, lot 11, illustrated
Sale: Christie's, New York, March 21, 1996, lot 102, illustrated
Sale: Fasig-Tipton and Cross Gate Gallery, Saratoga Springs, August 8, 1997, lot 99
Acquired at the above sale

Exhibited

The Denver Art Museum, 600 Years of British Painting, The Berger Collection at the Denver Art Museum, October 1998 - March 1999

Catalogue Note

Sir Alfred Munnings began hunting with the Norwich Staghounds in the first decade of the twentieth century and hunting scenes provided inspiration throughout his career.  When some members of the hunt objected to the impecunious young artist turning out in grey whipcord suit, bowler-hat and leggings, the Staghounds’ legendary master Jack Cooke dubbed him “artist to the hunt” and declared “we’ll allow him to wear boots and cap like a farmer” (Sir Alfred Munnings, The Finish, London, 1950, p. 319).   Despite this rough-and-ready start, before long Munnings’ was kitted out in proper “English costume” from white string gloves to highly polished jet-black riding boots, his autobiography filled with breathless accounts of the conviviality and thrill of a pursuit. While some of Munnings’ early hunting scenes include “portraits” of a single model, from the gypsy Nobby Gray to the groom George Curzon, A Hunting Morn is an impression of a particular moment of the hunt on the move.  The compositions is built of rapid, repeated strokes and dashes suggesting both the winter landscape and movement— from the brown and grey of tree trunks blurred in the passing rush to dabs of white, black, and ruddy brown suggesting the close pack of hounds running through the dry grasses and out of the picture space. The white hunter with the short docked tail in the present work was clearly a favorite of the artist— it appears in his painting series of 1902 in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. These paintings, like A Hunting Morn, capture the organized ritual and excited activity of a long-standing English tradition and the artist’s personal passion.
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