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Rountree Tryon Galleries

Sir Alfred James Munnings

A Pair: Spring, Calcot Park and Summer, Ascott House

20 x 24 1/4 in. (51 x 61.5 cm) and 20 1/2 x 24 1/4 in. (51.7 x 61.5 cm)


Sir Alfred James Munnings, P.R.A., R.W.S. (1878-1959)

A Pair: Spring, Calcot Park and Summer, Ascott House

oil on canvas

the former signed 'A J MUNNINGS' (lower left) and the latter signed 'A.J. MUNNINGS' (lower right)

20 x 24 1/4 in. (51 x 61.5 cm) and 20 1/2 x 24 1/4 in. (51.7 x 61.5 cm)

28.2 x 32 in (71.5 x 81.5 cm) each framed


Spring, Calcot Park:

James D. Connell, by 1928;

English private collection, 1970s.

Summer, Ascott House:

with Ian MacNicol, Glasgow;

Private collection, England, 1970s.


Spring, Calcot Park:

Norwich, Norwich Castle Museum, Loan Collection of Pictures Illustrating the Work of A.J. Munnings, R.A., August to September, 1928, no. 114.

During the First World War, Munnings worked for the Remounts at Calcot Park, preparing horses for deployment to the front. Cecil Aldin, a friend and fellow artist, was in charge of the Depot and found him the position. Munnings described the environment in the first volume of his autobiography, An Artist's Life: 'I was placed in a village near the Bath Road, close to Calcot Park. Every barn was used and hung with poles or bales, separating the horses where they stood in rows. Calcot Park itself was full of Canadian Artillery horses at grass. From then on I lived amongst thousands of horses'. It is likely that this painting was either no. 13 (In Calcot Park) or no. 15 (June Afternoon Calcot Park) exhibited in 1919 at James Connell & Sons, London, Exhibition of Paintings by A.J. Munnings.

Ascott House was the historic rural retreat of the de Rothschild family. The extensive manicured gardens were laid out on the advice of the garden designer Sir Harry Veitch around 1902 by Leopold de Rothschild, a British banker and breeder of racehorses, as a wedding present to his wife. In the centre of the Dutch flower garden, so named for its formal beds of tulips, stands a fountain by the American sculptor Thomas Waldo Story (1854-1915) of Cupid surrounded by dolphins. Story is also known for his Fountain of Love in the grounds of Cliveden, home of the Viscounts Astor. Munnings painted portraits of the horses belonging to Anthony de Rothschild, the youngest son of Leopold who inherited Ascott House on his father's death in 1917, at his Southcourt Stud in the early 1920s. Munnings also wrote about this period in the second volume of his autobiography, The Second Burst, 'I lived for some months in comfort in his house, at Ascott Wing. [...] During those weeks of work at the Southcourt Stud I did many pictures, which were kept with my painting things in one of the large stallion-boxes'.