Bonhams /Nov 14, 2012
€74,911.03 - €99,881.38
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Variants on Artist's name :
Sir Alfred Munnings
Artworks in Arcadja817
Some works of Alfred James MunningsExtracted between 817 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Christie's -Apr 29, 2013 - New YorkLot number: 37
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Sir Alfred James Munnings, P.R.A., R.W.S. (British, 1878-1959) At the Start of a Steeplechase signed 'A. J. Munnings' (lower right) oil on board 11 x 21½ in. (28 x 54.6 cm.) Mrs. A. Nicolls, her estate sale; Sotheby's, London, 21 November 1973, lot 99. with Richard Green, London. Denis Lennon; Sotheby's, London, 10 June 1981, lot 59. Anonymous sale; Christie's, New York, 8 June 1984, lot 304. Private collection, England. PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT ENGLISH COLLECTION A. J. Munnings, The Finish, Bungay, 1952, illustrated facing p. 217. London, Leicester Galleries, Exhibition of Works by Sir Alfred Munnings, November 1947, probably no. 6. Munnings became fascinated by horse racing starts and finishes early in his career (see lot 38). In his memoirs he recalls the first race he attended, '[I was] plunged into the most vividly color phase of life I had so far seen... I saw the thoroughbred horses and jockeys - professional and gentlemen riders -- in bright silk colors, going off down the course... I began to live! I had never imagined such a sight' (A. J. Munnings, An Artist's Life, Bungay, 1950, p. 65). At the Start of a Steeplechase was one of Munnings' favorite compositions and he included either a finished 'start' painting or a group of 'start' sketches in nearly every exhibition of his work from 1940 until his death. As he turned away from the formal portraits that made up the core of his oeuvre in the years before World War II, he concentrated ever more intently on the difficult task of capturing the excitement of the racecourse and spent an extraordinary amount of time studying his subject at first hand. Munnings' home, Castle House, in Dedham was close to Newmarket, the heart of racing in England, so he could go there regularly to watch horses at exercise or to attend races during the season. Courtesy of the clerk of the course, he even had a studio in one of the rubbing down houses and was allowed to bicycle around the grounds to view the runners. Munnings would often use his race card for his sketches at the races or at the exercise sessions on Warren Hill. Munnings' last volume of his memoirs, The Finish, published in 1952, is not only filled with illustrations of the varied moments before a start, but also describes some of the antics performed by eager horses that are captured so eloquently in the present work: 'Some horses more restive than others -- dancing sideways, capering, rearing, bounding -- dashed off in pursuit of those ahead. For me the visible beauty was over all too soon. What book did I fill with hundreds of drawings and notes! My mind and brain were saturated with the subject' (op. cit., p. 181). Munnings' focus in the present work is on the movement of the horses and his selection of a long thin panel accentuates the sense of tension. The compressed and tight energy of the horses at the left is emphasized by the sense of space in the right half of the composition - the viewer is drawn to the right and we are given an illusion of the impending movement of the horses. The sense of movement is further reinforced by Munnings' depiction of the action in a progressive sequence. A calm horse is seen to the left, the center horses strain at the bit, pulling the jockey forward, while the right horse is on the verge of bolting. His weight is on his hind end as the upraised front legs prepare to surge forward. We are grateful to Lorian Peralta-Ramos for confirming the authenticity of this painting, which will be included in her forthcoming Munnings catalogue raisonné.
Auction: Christie's -Dec 13, 2012 - LondonLot number: 50
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Sir Alfred James Munnings, P.R.A., R.W.S. (1878-1959) Shrimp and the old grey mare on the Ringland Hills signed and dated 'A.J. Munnings/1910' (lower right) oil on canvas 20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 60.2 cm.) with W. Boswell, Norwich. Charles F. Greenfield. The setting for the present work is the Ringland Hills, seven miles west of Norwich. The subjects are two of Munnings's favourite models: the gypsy boy, Shrimp, and Munnings's old Welsh mare. Munnings's love of the rural Norwich landscape and lifestyle dominates his work from the period 1909-1911, and he painted each summer in the Ringland area as horse dealers, families of gypsies, ponies and lurchers were all easily found at the fairs and public houses throughout the summer months. It was the horse dealer, James Drake, who introduced Munnings to Shrimp, the gypsy boy who slept under Drake's caravan. He was the illegitimate son of a house-maid at Narford Hall near Swaffham, and like Munnings, he preferred horses to people and had run away from home to work with the beasts that he loved. In 1908, money changed hands between Drake and the artist, and Shrimp became Munnings's full-time model and horse-minder. In return, Munnings paid him a wage and bought him a new suit of clothes, consisting of a tight pair of 'dealer' trousers, a pearl-buttoned Georgian waistcoat, a cloth cap, and a bright red neckerchief. In this garb, he made a handsome model with the grey mare that Drake sold to Munnings in 1910 for twenty pounds, and the pair became the focal point of the artist's languid Norwich paintings. The theme of this picture - 'idling' - has roots in eighteenth-century Britain but can be seen earlier in Continental paintings. Rest was reward for one's labours and in historic scenes workers were positioned in the foreground while people at rest were in the distance. La Thangue and George Clausen's 'Rural Naturalism' (among others) paved the way for country folk to be viewed in their natural environment as truthfully as possible without romantic embellishment. In the present work, Shrimp, who is as close to literally being an organic part of the soil due to his homelessness, is viewed here as being amalgamated with the ground he rests in. His form blends into his surroundings and, at first glance, is almost mistaken as part of the landscape. Munnings' reinforces this idea and, using his unwavering practice of painting en plein air, makes Shrimp's figure an integral part of this sun-filled scene. The scene depicts a quiet moment yet a breeze has caught the mare's tail on which Munnings captures the golden hues. The flickering midday summer sun is intensified by the pandemonium of brushstrokes which in turn fill the picture with movement. Compositionally, he frames Shrimp's head under the belly of one horse and under the gap in the foliage of the tree. The yellow highlights on the white mare are repeated in the top line of Shrimp's jacket. The pinkish tones of his skin are echoed in the underside of the mare's belly. Munnings layers the design to create spatial perspective. Shrimp's supine form indicates that a hill rises up to a flatter plane, a road. The hedgerows beyond the horses across the road, divide the space and the landscape beyond. We would like to thank Lorian Peralta-Ramos for her help in preparing the catalogue entry for this work, which will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Sir Alfred Munnings.
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Description Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) Unsaddling at Epsom, Summer meeting Colour offset lithograph Signed in pencil lower right 44.5 x 53 cm (17 1/2 x 20 3/4 in) Provenance: with Arthur Ackermann & Son Ltd.; The collection of Richard Bonnycastle. Please note this lot may be subject to droit de suite. condition report Under glass, slight faded and discoloured.
Auction: Bonhams -Nov 14, 2012 - LondonLot number: 54
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Sir Alfred James Munnings P.R.A., R.W.S. (British, 1878-1959) The haymakers 63.4 x 76.3 cm. (25 x 30 in.) The haymakers signed and dated 'A.J.Munnings 1902' (lower right) oil on canvas 63.4 x 76.3 cm. (25 x 30 in.) PROVENANCE: Private Collection, U.K. EXHIBITED: Probably Norwich, Norwich Art Circle, October 1904, no.133 Munnings grew up at Mendham in the fertile Waveney Valley in East Anglia. His father was not only the most prominent miller in the valley, he was a successful farmer. Munnings recalls in his memoirs that "Hay-making time came around too quickly. All hands were called in for this, for my father made good hay. There were the rows made by the drag-rake, the cocks, the carting, the creaking of the wagons, and the making of large stacks in the stackyard...The cleared hayfields still scented the air as we played cricket on the pitch now open to us" (Sir Alfred J Munnings, An Artist's Life , Museum Press Ltd, London, 1950, p.35). Munnings recorded a number of haymaking scenes but this and another titled Carting Hay (watercolour 8 x 11.5 in.) are painted from the closest vantage point. Unlike historic agricultural paintings the figures dominate the composition. Also following tradition, figures are seen at rest in the shade by the river echoing the 18th century concept that rest was a reward of diligence. This painting is poignant in the realm of rural depictions. Traditional agricultural methods had seriously declined with industrialisation by the end of the 19th Century, but were resurrected in literature and art. Artists such as George Clausen and Henry Herbert LaThangue and other followers of Bastien-Lepage, conscientiously created permanent documentation of the vanishing ways of country life illustrating the hard work and industry that many rural occupations entailed. Clausen's Ploughing in Early Spring and other illustrations of rustic farmers at work became a focus of interest. Inspired by this rustic naturalism, Munnings painted labourers cutting wood or collecting reeds, digging potatoes, hedging or making hay. In the present work, the soft, muted and earthy colours Munnings used for the figures reflect the intimate relationship that the labourers have to the land, almost as if they are part of it. This work and Woodcutting in October illustrate the true nature of the occupation rather than idealising it. Not only was this an artistic concept, 'truth to nature', Munnings made this authentic depiction of rural activities because he was so familiar with it. This work will appear in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Sir Alfred Munnings being prepared by Lorian Peralta-Ramos and we are grateful to her for compiling this catalogue entry.
Auction: Sotheby's -Nov 13, 2012 - LondonLot number: 86
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LOT 86 PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN SIR ALFRED JAMES MUNNINGS, P.R.A., R.W.S. 1878 - 1959 VALLEY IN WINTER; CORNFIELDS NEAR NEWMARKET Quantity: 2 one signed l.l. the other l.r: A.J. MUNNINGS; one titled on the reverse both oil on board one 38 by 61cm., 15 by 24in.; the other 30.5 by 60.5cm., 12 by 23¾in.