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.
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Sir Alfred Munnings
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.