No painter of sporting horses and the life and people around them today excels England's Sir Alfred Munnings in style, brilliance and popularity. A horse breeder and fine sportsman himself who could ride with the best, Sir Alfred, now 77, has devoted most of his artistic life to painting horses in fashionable settings, and his canvases hang in Britain's most elegant homes. First admitted as an exhibitor in the Royal Academy when he was 19, Munnings has had a distinguished career which includes such honors as royal commissions and the presidency of the academy. As dean of his craft he wears the mantle of English equestrian painting, which was skillfully woven during the 18th and 19th centuries by Stubbs, Marshall, Sartorius and others of the talented fraternity who left a rich bounty of paintings of famous horses and marked a niche in history for that period of sporting art. A hearty man, as correctly English as hunting pinks, Sir Alfred lives in semiretirement, dividing his time between a studio in Chelsea and his country home on the rolling green downs of Essex.
"OUR MUTUAL FRIEND, THE HORSE" is a portrait of Lady Munnings on her favorite hunter, Rufus, with the artist standing by with palette and canvas. Sir Alfred painted this against the background of their country house in Essex.
"THE PARADE TO THE POST" by Sir Alfred Munnings is a handsome painting of gentlemen jockeys lining up for a race in the English countryside. The artist is noted as a colorist and for his dramatic skies.
"THE HUNTSMAN," one of Sir Alfred Munning's most striking paintings, is a study of a sportsman in the traditional hunting pinks astride his powerful gray hunter.
COURTESY OF WILLIAM C. WRIGHT
COURTESY OF E. J. ROUSUCK