Munnings, Alfred (British, 1878-1959)

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Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) was an English painter, who was known for being one of England’s finest painters of horses.

At the age of fourteen, Munnings became apprentice to a painter in Norwich, and attended the Norwich School of Art in his spare time. When his apprenticeship ended, Munnings became a full-time painter and committed himself to the profession, despite the loss of sight in his right eye after an accident in 1898. The painter soon became known for producing works of exceptional quality, which often portrayed rural scenes and subjects.

Although Munnings accepted some portrait commissions from society figures, he became best known for his equine painting, often depicting horses in hunting and racing scenes. Munnings is also well-known for his talent as a war artist, having produced over 45 canvasses for the Canadian Cavalry Brigade that were exhibited at the Royal Academy after the First World War. In 1944, Munnings was elected president of the Royal Academy of Art and was also awarded a knighthood. Today, Munnings’ paintings remain as popular as ever, and are sold for very high prices at auction.