2020 Fine Sporting Art, American Paintings, and Sculpture

61| Sir Alfred Munnings (British, 1878-1959)

Aunt Polly’S Hackney, ‘Hamlet’

Oil on canvas, 20" x 24"

30000 - 50000

Signed, dated 1905, inscribed Exhibited: The Taylor Gallery, London, Sir Alfred Munnings; Some Early Works, Spring 2015Just before his 21st […]

Signed, dated 1905, inscribed Exhibited: The Taylor Gallery, London, Sir Alfred Munnings; Some Early Works, Spring 2015Just before his 21st birthday in 1899, Munnings lost vision in his right eye while visiting his Aunt Polly and her second husband, Mr. Hill, at Mulbarton. Munnings later rented part of Church Farm from these relatives and established his studio there for several years. His aunt and uncle, he recalls in his memoir An Artist's Life, bred hackneys and farmed in a considerable way. Hackneys are a general-purpose lightweight trotting horse that was popular in Norfolk at the time (though today they are considered a rare breed). As this horse, Hamlet, was listed in the Stud Book, it is likely that Munnings painted it as a gift for his aunt and uncle, who had welcomed him into their home from time to time. An early painting, Hamlet shows Munnings' development as a painter of horses and his ability to capture the individual character of an equine subject.

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