An artist's race to the starting line for £700k

An early racing painting by Sir Alfred Munnings leads Bonhams New Bond Street's sale of 20th Century British Art on Wednesday March 17. 

Originally in the collection of the prominent English racehorse owner and breeder, JV Rank, it is the first time that this work has been offered at auction.

Other highlights in the sale include a newly discovered work by David Bomberg together with a group of pictures by John Craxton and a number of paintings that were last seen on the walls of major public art exhibitions in London.

Sir Alfred Munnings PRA, RWS (1878-1959) is well-known for his love of racing - with "the groupings, the movement and the colour" never failing to inspire him.

Sir Alfred Munnings' The Start, Newmarket, estimated at �500k-700k

His insight and knowledge of equine movement together with his genius in capturing light and colour for which he is well known, are clearly seen in this early racing work, The Start, Newmarket.

It will sell with an estimate of �500,000-700,000.

Here he shows his ability to capture the dynamic energy of a group of racehorses as they jockey for position before the start of a race.

Developing the drama further, he has isolated the figures from any other visual distraction and has intentionally kept both sky and landscape bare to focus the viewer's attention on the atmosphere and emotion of the painting.

This work is a smaller version of October Meeting, Newmarket that had been in the collection of Anthony de Rothschild but was destroyed in the Blitz during World War II.


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