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The Dark Horse: Celebrated sporting artist involved in love triangle with tragic end to sell at Bonhams
A highlight in the sale include a romantic moonlit scene by John Atkinson Grimshaw (British, 1836-1893) named At the park gate which is valued at £150,000-£200,000.

LONDON.- The hustle and bustle of a rural horse fair is captured by Sir Alfred James Munnings (1878-1959) in The Fair, one of the highlights in the 19th Century Paintings sale at Bonhams, New Bond Street on 22nd January.

The oil painting was purchased direct from the artist pre-1916 for the sum of £35 and has been passed down within the family for a century. Today the work is offered with estimates of £150,000-£250,000.

A bay horse rears above the brown of the earth and the crowd, silhouetted against a white sky and kicking the dust into swirls. A white shirted man strains to hold the animal down as the crowd watches on. The picture captures a typical scene at a countryside horse fair.

Alfred Munnings was a member of the Lamorna Group, a bohemian artist’s colony which had sprung up near the coastal village of Lamorna. Many of the Lamorna Group artists feature in the upcoming sale at Bonhams – Laura Knight, S.J Lamorna Birch and Stanhope Forbes.

But there is a darker side to Alfred Munnings’ story. It was in Cornwall that Munnings met his first wife, fellow artist and horsewoman, Florence Carter Wood. The couple were married in January 1912 but Florence attempted suicide on their honeymoon.

A tangled love triangle involving Munnings, Florence Carter Wood and Munnings’ friend, Gilbert Evans, was to end in tragedy. Florence succeeded in taking her own life in 1914 as the looming shadow of the Great War fell upon the country.

Horses were an integral part of the landscape in Edwardian Britain and Munnings, the son of a miller, would have grown up around horses. He was considered one of England’s finest sporting painters.

In the years prior to the First World War, Munnings’ depictions focussed on the idyllic British rural landscape at rest. Two further charming studies by Munnings are offered for sale; Grey mare and chestnut foal (£50,000-£70,000) and Calling them in (£40,000-£60,000) which depicts a horse and rider returning from a day’s hunting.

Other highlights in the sale include a romantic moonlit scene by John Atkinson Grimshaw (British, 1836-1893) named At the park gate which is valued at £150,000-£200,000. Grimshaw is well-known for his night-scene paintings, instilled with the mood of twilight, approaching night or lingering winter dawn.

A dream at Dawn takes us through to morning with the Pre-Raphaelite painter Sir John Everett Millais (1829-1896). A young girl in a white night dress stands at her balcony, dreamily gazing at the sky with head in hand as she waits for morning. The work was painted when Millais was at the height of his fame and is valued at £40,000-£60,000.

Today's News

January 13, 2014

Judge orders Renoir stolen in 1951, found in flea market, to return to Baltimore museum

English artist Saul Fletcher presents a new body of work at Anton Kern Gallery

Felt works from 1972 - 1995 by A.R. Penck on view at Michael Werner Gallery

Major installation by artist Robert Therrien opens at Gagosian Beverly Hills

The Dark Horse: Celebrated sporting artist involved in love triangle with tragic end to sell at Bonhams

Fifteen-year survey of Bharti Kher's practice opens at the Rockbund Art Museum

Exhibition of works by Italian Futurist artists featured at Boca Museum of Art

New book by Zhang Xiao documents old customs originating from pagan ritual practices

Exhibition seeks to question our experience of sound through a range of immersive installations

New series of paintings by Chinese artist Zhang Enli on view at Hauser & Wirth London

Exhibition of new paintings by Japanese artist Tomoo Gokita opens at Mary Boone Gallery

Tanya Bonakdar presents a group exhibition of language and text-based works by gallery artists

"Bob Marley: I and Eye, The Photos of Kim Gottlieb-Walker, 1975-1976" opens at KM Fine Arts

New works by American painter Elliott Lloyd on view at Y Gallery

Exhibition of early works on paper by artist Manny Farber opens at Quint Contemporary Art

Asian Art in Brussels announces dates of the 2014 edition: 4 to 8 June 2014

Bad Fog: Group exhibition curated by Eddie Martinez opens at Martos Gallery

Artist Shepard Fairey to unveil new screen prints at the LA Art Show

New work by Julia Fullerton-Batten and Tim Etchells on view at Jenkins Johnson Gallery

"Sondra Sherman: Found Subjects" exhibition runs at Hunterdon Art Museum

Gabriel Leung's first solo exhibition with Gallery EXIT opens in Hong Kong

Exhibition of new photographs by Los Angeles based artist Miles Coolidge opens at ACME.

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- John Surtees' one-owner 1957 BMW 507 to be offered for the first time at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale

2.- Antiques looted in Libya by IS sold in Spain, two experts arrested

3.- The world's oldest bridge to be preserved by the British Museum's Iraq Scheme

4.- Exquisite jewels dazzle in historic Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

5.- Now showing in US cinemas: "Hitler VS Picasso and The Others" directed by Claudio Poli

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art returns stolen idols to Nepal

7.- Glasgow starts a year of celebration as Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition opens

8.- Very rare Qing Dynasty bowl sells for $30.4 million

9.- Gardner Museum publishes "Stolen" book about 13 works in 1990 theft

10.- Royal Ontario Museum announces appointment of Curator, Islamic Art & Culture

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