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Irish Grey Mare by Sir Alfred James Munnings

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Irish Grey Mare by Sir Alfred James Munnings

- Item No.

In Irish Grey Mare, Munnings captures the fluid motion of this elegant creature

Key Features

  • The strength and beauty of the horse is the subject of this painting by Sir Alfred James Munnings
  • He is considered among the greatest equine artists of all time
  • Munnings' ability to capture movement in his paintings is unsurpassed
  • Signed "A J Munnings" (lower right); Oil on canvas
  • Circa 1910
  • Canvas: 25" high x 30" wide; Frame: 30 3/8" high x 35 1/8" wide

Item Details

  • Width:
    C: 30 F: 35 1/8 Inches
  • Height:
    C: 25 F: 30 3/8 Inches
  • Period:
    20th Century
  • Origin:
  • Subject:
  • Artist:
    Munnings, Sir Alfred
Sir Alfred James Munnings
1878-1959 British

Irish Grey Mare 

Signed "A J Munnings" (lower right)
Oil on canvas

The elegance and power of the horse is masterly captured in this outstanding painting by Sir Alfred James Munnings, an artist who is considered among the world's greatest equine painters. 

Irish Grey Mare is a superior example of Munnings' incredible gift for interpreting the spirit of these commanding animals in his paintings. His early training as a lithographer gave his paintings a level of fluency that breathes life into this superb work. Despite her size and obvious strength, Munnings is able to capture the mare's movements with unsurpassed realism as she walks along the path with graceful steps. 

Munnings, born and raised in the countryside of Suffolk, England, showed a talent for art at a young age. At 14, he became apprenticed to the lithography firm of Page Brothers designing posters, and began studying painting at the Norwich School of Art at night. In 1899, he entered two works to the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition that were accepted with much acclaim. He soon gained favor for his captivating equine portraits, depicting these wondrous animals in the multitude of functions and circumstances, yet always staying true to their innate power, beauty and tender nature. 

During World War I, Munnings served the roles of war artist and horse processor in Canada, ensuring the safe and efficient delivery of military horses to the front in the latter position. He had spent his childhood surrounded by these majestic beasts and was well suited for this task. As a war artist, he executed drawings, watercolors and oils with the primary focus of the horse's use both on the battlefield and behind the scenes, shedding light on the often-overlooked part horses played in the war effort. In fact, The Canadian War Records Exhibition at the Royal Academy after the war's end included forty-five of Munnings canvasses. 

Munnings went on to earn a knighthood and become president of the Royal Academy of Art in 1944. He left office in 1949 and moved to Castle House, Dedham, Essex, where he died on 17 July 1959. After his death, his wife turned their home in Dedham into a museum of his work. The village pub where he grew up in Suffolk and a street there is also named after him.

Circa 1910

Canvas: 25" high x 30" wide
Frame: 30 3/8" high x 35 1/8" wide

Acquired from the artist by an ancestor of the previous owner from Mallet, London Private UK collection.

Select Artist's Museums:
Tate Gallery, London
Royal Academy of Arts Collection, London
The Royal Collection, London
National Portrait Gallery, London
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum, Dedham
National Museums Liverpool
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

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Price: $485,000
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