Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Sir Alfred Munnings

 The Canadian War Museum just wrapped up a special exhibit on the war artist Sir Alfred Munnings, an English artist who followed the Canadian military in the last year of the First World War as a commissioned war artist. I attended the exhibit before it closed.


I didn't know anything about Munnings, an Impressionist painter known for his paintings of horses. This exhibit, done in collaboration with the Munnings Museum in Essex, Great Britain, is a retrospective of the work he did for Canada, commissioned by media baron and politician Max Aitken, otherwise known as Lord Beaverbrook, who did much for the war art movement in Canada. The Beaverbrook Collection came out of it, and the War Museum is home to that collection. The exhibit deeply impressed me.


Blinded in one eye by the age of twenty, Munnings nonetheless developed a strong artistic style. As a war artist, he spent his time among Canadians, documenting their story in his work. The First World War would be effectively the end of the days of horse cavalry, but horses served in other ways as well.


This sketch is The Strathcona Horse Lines In France. 


And this painting is Horses Of The 36th Company


Halt On The March By A Stream At Nesle has a tranquil mood.


Horses And Chargers Of Various Units has a similar sensibility.


Watering Horses Of The Black and Brown Troop rounds things out for today.

50 comments:

  1. An extraordinary talent he had, as well as being quite the dapper gentleman.

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  2. I wrote about "Canadian soldier-heroes, 1917-8: Alfred Munnings" back in 2013 and "The Alfred Munnings: War Artist 1918" exhibition, Britain then Canada" in 2018. And then nothing since :(

    Thank you for the new look at this old artist; I will see if any of his paintings are coming up for auction now. The last one I saw was "The whip, Trevelloe Wood, Cornwall" in 2018 at Christie's

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    1. I find myself wondering why I'd never heard of him.

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  4. What beautiful paintings, must be impressive to actually see the brush strokes.

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  5. It occurs to me that I once read a mystery at east partly around a Munning painting. I think it was one of the Jury novels by Martha Grimes.

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  6. Very talented. I´d never heard of him.

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  7. I can't help but think of the horses that must have been blown to pieces in these battles.

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  8. Beautiful paintings! Take care, have a happy day!

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  9. ...for me, war and art seem to be strange bedfellows.

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  10. That scene by the stream is serene. Respite!

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  11. I wonder how many horses the 1st world war used up. They bought horses in western Canada to send to the war.

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  12. It is so odd to think of artists following the troops to record the action.

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  13. I knew of Munnings and a bit about his early life and his losing the sight in one eye due to an accident but hadn't known about his work as a war artist. How brave they all were to do that:)

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  14. I like his style of painting. Thank you, I didn't know his work until now.

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  15. I hadn't heard of this artist either. His work is beautiful.

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  16. What beautiful art he painted. Never heard of him so thanks for sharing.

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  17. Sus buenas obras es su mejor presentaci├│n y es la mejor forma de conocer al artista.

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  18. Wonderful art work in the style of the times ~ great photos ~

    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  19. Thank you for showing his works. They look rural with a theme of farming.

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  20. Lots of horse admirers here, too.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry about that! Not sure why Safari is suddenly not automatically identifying my on Blogger.

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    2. Blogger has been doing a lot of weird things for the last few months.

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  21. This is really interesting -- I wasn't familiar with him. His art is striking, very beautifully done.

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  22. The history of how these paintings were created is as fascinating as the art itself! I have never heard of a painter following the military as a commissioned artist. Nowadays, we hear about 'embedded' journalists. I guess that is kind of like what he was -- an embedded artist documenting the military experience. so interesting!

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