Sir Alfred Munnings exhibition coming to Newmarket this summer

Trooper in Full Marching Order c. 1918 Oil on canvas, 103 x 127.5 cm (12 x 15 in.)

Trooper in Full Marching Order c. 1918 - Oil on canvas, 103 x 127.5 cm (12 x 15 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

A major exhibition of Sir Alfred Munnings' work, described as "the most important" to date, is set to open in Newmarket.

Munnings was born in Mendham in 1878, and became known as one of the most popular artists of his generation with his work now selling for millions of pounds.

Munnings was renowned as one of England's greatest painters of horses, as well as horse racing and hunting, and was also a war artist with the Canadian Cavalry Brigade during the First World War.  

Path to the Orchard 1908 Oil on canvas, 76.2 x 106.7 cm (30 x 42 in.)

Path to the Orchard 1908 - Oil on canvas, 76.2 x 106.7 cm (30 x 42 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Sir Alfred Munnings

Sir Alfred Munnings - Credit: The Munnings Trust

The exhibition is made up of around 40 paintings, watercolours, and drawings spanning 60 years of the artist's career.

The selected works, curated by Katherine Field, help to tell the story of Munnings, from his early years working in rural Suffolk and Norfolk, up until his election as president of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1944.    

The 'A Life of His Own' exhibition is currently on display in the Osborne Studio Gallery, in London until May 14, but will then make its way to the National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket, from May 24 - June 12.

Sir Alfred Munnings' biographer, Tristram Lewis, said: "Son of a Suffolk miller, Munnings rose to become one of England’s greatest twentieth century artists, knowing fame and success, his writing, poetry and rhetorical manner would ensure a lifetime in the public eye. Overlooked for many years, since his death, by the art establishment, Munnings popularity today continues to surge as new generations discover his astonishing life’s work.

A Shoot in a Swede Field 1901 Oil on canvas, 41.2 x 55.8cm (16 ½ x 22 in.)

A Shoot in a Swede Field 1901 - Oil on canvas, 41.2 x 55.8cm (16 ½ x 22 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

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"His exhibitions have always ignited excitement, rare opportunities to marvel at his jewel-like and whimsically glorious depictions of East Anglian country life in the first half of the 20th century."

London art dealer Richard Green said: "His subjects were the rural life of East Anglia, gypsies, farm labourers, the market place, the horse fair, the pet pony and comfortable country folk at their leisure.  

"Munnings’ heart and mind were rooted in East Anglia in open landscape and high skies."

In the forward to the catalogue for the exhibition, Camilla, HRH, The Duchess of Cornwall, says: "I have been a lifelong admirer of this great artist both for his outstanding talent and for his instinctive understanding of the relationship between horse and human.  He is, quite rightly, recognised as one of the finest equine painters this country, or indeed, the world, has ever seen."

More information about the exhibition can be found on the British Sporting Art Trust website.

A Barge on the Stour at Dedham c. 1935 Oil on canvas, 61 x 81.3cm

A Barge on the Stour at Dedham c. 1935 - Oil on canvas, 61 x 81.3cm - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Study of Buchan 1920 Oil on board, 43.1 x 53.3 cm, (17 x 21 in.)

Study of Buchan 1920 - Oil on board, 43.1 x 53.3 cm, (17 x 21 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Humorist and Donoghue going out for the Derby 1921, Oil on canvas, 101.5 x 128 cm (39 x 50 in.)

Humorist and Donoghue going out for the Derby 1921, Oil on canvas, 101.5 x 128 cm (39 x 50 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Presentation of the Standards to the Household Cavalry by King George V, June 1927 1928-1930 Oil on canvas.

Presentation of the Standards to the Household Cavalry by King George V, June 1927 1928-1930 - Oil on canvas, 111.8 x 144.8cm (44 x 57 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

The Drummer of His Majesty’s First Life Guards, 1922, Oil on Canvas, 85 x 90cm (33 1/2 x 35 1/2 in).

The Drummer of His Majesty’s First Life Guards, 1922, Oil on Canvas, 85 x 90cm (33 1/2 x 35 1/2 in). - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Study for The Young Entry on a Snowy Road at Woolsthorpe 1921 Oil on canvas, 46.7 x 55.9 cm (18 3/8 x 22 in.)

Study for The Young Entry on a Snowy Road at Woolsthorpe 1921 - Oil on canvas, 46.7 x 55.9 cm (18 3/8 x 22 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Alec Taylor Jr with Lord Astor’s Buchan 1920 Oil on canvas, 68.6 x 90.2 cm (27 x 35 ½ in.)

Alec Taylor Jr with Lord Astor’s Buchan 1920 Oil on canvas, 68.6 x 90.2 cm (27 x 35 ½ in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

The Belvoir Kennels 1921 Oil on canvas, [dimensions unknown]

The Belvoir Kennels 1921 Oil on canvas, [dimensions unknown] - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

The Piper, 1916 Pencil and watercolour, heightened with white on paper laid down on card, 53.3 x 73.7 cm (21 x 29 in.)

The Piper, 1916 Pencil and watercolour, heightened with white on paper laid down on card, 53.3 x 73.7 cm (21 x 29 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

The White Pony, 1945-1947 Oil on panel, 32 by 41.5cm (12 ½ x 16 ¼ in.)

The White Pony, 1945-1947 - Oil on panel, 32 by 41.5cm (12 ½ x 16 ¼ in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Edward Turnour, 6th Earl Winterton MFH 1923 Oil on canvas, 91.5 x 94 cm (36 x 37 in.)

Edward Turnour, 6th Earl Winterton MFH 1923 Oil on canvas, 91.5 x 94 cm (36 x 37 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Ned Osborne on Grey Tick, Zennor Hill, Cornwall c. 1912 Oil on canvas, 63.5 x 76.2 cm (25 x 30 in.)

Ned Osborne on Grey Tick, Zennor Hill, Cornwall c. 1912 - Oil on canvas, 63.5 x 76.2 cm (25 x 30 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Withypool Hill, Exmoor c. 1940-1945 Oil on board, 35 x 61 cm (13 ¾ x 24 in.)

Withypool Hill, Exmoor c. 1940-1945 Oil on board, 35 x 61 cm (13 ¾ x 24 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

The Grey Mare 1914 Oil on canvas: 35.6 x 45.7 cm (14 x 18 in.

The Grey Mare 1914 - Oil on canvas: 35.6 x 45.7 cm (14 x 18 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Patrick, 1914 Oil on canvas, 35.6 x 45.7cm (14 x 18 in.)

Patrick, 1914 - Oil on canvas, 35.6 x 45.7cm (14 x 18 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

White Oxen, Baron Robert’s Estate, Chantilly 1922 Oil on canvas, 35.6 x 61 cm (14 x 24 in.)

White Oxen, Baron Robert’s Estate, Chantilly 1922 - Oil on canvas, 35.6 x 61 cm (14 x 24 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Under Starter’s Orders c. 1951 Oil on canvas, 50.8 x 60.9 cm (20 x 24 in.)

Under Starter’s Orders c. 1951 - Oil on canvas, 50.8 x 60.9 cm (20 x 24 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Lord Astor’s High Stakes 1951 Oil on panel, 50.8 x 61 cm (24 x 20 in.)

Lord Astor’s High Stakes 1951 - Oil on panel, 50.8 x 61 cm (24 x 20 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Exercising the Horses c. 1950 Oil on panel, 45.7 x 61 cm (18 x 24 in.)

Exercising the Horses c. 1950 - Oil on panel, 45.7 x 61 cm (18 x 24 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Lamorna Inn 1915 Oil on canvas, 50.8 x 61cm (20 x 24 in.)

Lamorna Inn 1915 - Oil on canvas, 50.8 x 61cm (20 x 24 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Sir Raymond Greene DSO 1919 Oil on canvas, 71.1 x 76.2 cm (28 x 30 in.)

Sir Raymond Greene DSO 1919 - Oil on canvas, 71.1 x 76.2 cm (28 x 30 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Lord Derby’s Hyperion and Fairway and their grooms Chinnery and Cain Oil on panel 20 x 24 1951

Lord Derby’s Hyperion and Fairway and their grooms Chinnery and Cain - Oil on panel 20 x 24 1951 - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Lord Derby’s Quashed - Oil on Canvas 30 X 40 1938

Lord Derby’s Quashed - Oil on Canvas 30 X 40 1938 - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Morning Ride Oil on Canvas 20x24

Morning Ride - Oil on Canvas 20x24 - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust

Study of Violet Munnings for ‘Our Mutual Friend the Horse’ c. 1928-1935 Oil on board, 25 x 17 cm (9 7/8 x 7 in.)

Study of Violet Munnings for ‘Our Mutual Friend the Horse’ c. 1928-1935 Oil on board, 25 x 17 cm (9 7/8 x 7 in.) - Credit: The estate of Sir Alfred Munnings Dedham Essex / British Sporting Art Trust