Although there is no record of Major Mead in Munnings’s autobiography this fine equestrian portrait was painted in either 1921 or 1931, when similar commissions dominated Munnings’s artistic output (see lot 11 for further details). The picture has all the freedom of Munnings’s plein air sketches, and may have been worked up in the studio afterwards to create a final portrait. The bucolic setting is likely to relate to a real location, although it is similar to the backdrop used in a number of Munnings’s portraits at this date, such as Miss Ruth Brady on Bugle Call. These 1920s-30s equestrian portraits are some of the artist’s finest works, epitomising a golden era of elegance and refinement.
We are grateful to the Curatorial staff at The Munnings Art Museum, and Lorian Peralta-Ramos for their assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.