Celebrated as one of England’s finest equestrian painters, Sir Alfred Munnings forged much of his early reputation as a result of his war artist commission in France during 1918. Serving in eastern France with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Munnings sketched and painted landscapes, battle scenes and, naturally, horses to document life on the fighting front and the vital logistical work taking place behind the lines.
Now, for the first time in 100 years, forty-one wartime paintings by Munnings are returning together to the United Kingdom on tour from the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa. In this once-in-a-lifetime display here, his former home in Dedham, the finished paintings will be shown side by side with the surviving sketchbooks that inspired them and owned by the museum. This is the first time these sketchbooks have been on public display together with the finished pictures, and will provide a unique view of life ‘behind the lines’.
More than 150 other works by Munnings—from his boyhood sketches, through his early commercial work, to his iconic horse paintings—will also be on display throughout the museum at the same time, offering a complete survey of his life and development as an artist.