• Victorian & British Impression auction at Christies

    Sale 7788

    Victorian & British Impressionist Pictures Including Drawings and Watercolours

    16 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 13

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

    Homeward bound

    Price Realised  


    Sir Alfred James Munnings, P.R.A., R.W.S., (1878-1959)
    Homeward bound
    signed 'A. J. Munnings' (lower right)
    pencil and brown wash with scratching out on card
    6½ x 11¾ in. (16.5 x 29.8 cm.); with a slight sketch of a woman indistinctly inscribed on the reverse

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    Munnings frequently painted narrative images the relevance of which is undocumented. However, in his early years, his vivid imagination led to many works, such as the present watercolour, which were inspired by his reading of works by authors such as Burns, Dumas, Fennimore Cooper, Tennyson, Dickens and Longfellow, to name a few. These stories fired his imagination and, fueled by sentimental and often introspective thoughts, he would create these narrative scenes. In his memoirs, he writes of an early thirst for books and a lifelong love of poetry (An Artist's Life, Chapter IV) and admits in his third volume of memoirs that he would choose books over paintings (The Finish, Chapter XXXVIII, titled 'Give me Books'). Such was his love of literature that he often memorised entire works or passages from novels and poems.

    Munnings not only enjoyed painting these imaginative scenes but he exhibited many of them at the Norwich Art Circle biannual exhibitions consistently from 1897-1911 and then intermittently until 1934.
    Motifs involving windy conditions frequent the list of titles, many of which are lines from verse or prose such as Around me howls a wintery sky (Burns) exhibited 1907, Raving winds around her blowing (Burns) 1903, and A Southerly wind, 1903.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Purchased from the artist by Col. F.E. Walter, Thorpe Market, Norfolk and thence by descent to the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text

    The Property of the Estate of the Late Mrs M.A. Griffin, Sold by Order of the Executors.