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Details & Cataloguing

Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art

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London

Sir Alfred James Munnings, P.R.A., R.W.S.
1878-1959
AFTER THE FAIR, BER STREET, NORWICH
signed and dated l.l.: A.J. MUNNINGS/ 1904
watercolour
28 by 35.5cm., 11 by 14in.
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Catalogue Note

Continually seeking equestrian models for his pictures Munnings was a regular at the East Anglian horse fairs, held on Saturday mornings. He was an avid observer of the colourful characters and enjoyed the lively banter of the dealers and their picturesque clothing. Working quickly in watercolour, he was able to capture the spontaneity of the interactions. He described a few of his favourite models in his autobiography: ‘And there they were for the asking. They loved posing, and still better, they loved seeing a sovereign or a pint of beer.’ (AJ Munnings, An Artist's Life, 1950, p.113) Among those he encountered at the horse-fairs was ‘Dan Betts...who wore small silver earrings, and shaved off his moustache for me to put him in a picture, and became so transfigured that his wife and children didn't know him. A kind man and father… Pod and Ned Aldous, types bred in every village since the Stone Age, and another of the same cut—Porky Emmerson—were always ready, if about, to do anything in the standing or sitting in line for a pint.’ (ibid Munnings, p.111-2)

Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art

|
London