Sunday, July 10, 2011

Alfred James Munning - A pony and donkeys

Price Realized £61,250

signed 'A.J.Munnings/1904' (lower left)
oil on canvas
20 x 24 in. (51 x 61 cm.)

The present composition bears comparison with two other paintings of the same date: one entitled Donkeys on Crostwick Common (Anon sale; Christies London, 12 June 1986, lot 183) and the other entitled Crostwick Common (Castle Museum, Norwich).

Munnings reminisces: 'Then came the open Common. There were the donkeys, young and old, a coloured cow or two, a white horse peacefully standing on a knoll - the wind stirring its tail - and geese and ponies. What a Common! ... calm, grey autumn days followed in succession in that particular year; days with soft "barred clouds" stretching across the sky. I see the bramble patches, the dark clumps of gorse and purple torns and yellow bracken, the donkeys with their white muzzles, feeding, and the geese far away near the stream at the end. Here I was in my twenties, with everything around me to paint' (see A.J. Munnings, An Artist's Life, Bungay, 1950, p. 204-5).

We are grateful to Lorian Peralta Ramos for her help in preparing this catalogue entry. The picture will be included in her forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of the work of Sir Alfred Munnings.

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