Sir Alfred James Munnings P.R.A., R.W.S. (British, 1878-1959) Landscape with sheep, Dedham
Lot 62AR
Sir Alfred James Munnings P.R.A., R.W.S. (British, 1878-1959) Landscape with sheep, Dedham
Sold for £21,250 (US$ 35,265) inc. premium
Lot Details
Sir Alfred James Munnings P.R.A., R.W.S. (British, 1878-1959)
Landscape with sheep, Dedham
signed 'A. J. Munnings' (lower left), oil on canvas
51 x 64cm (20 1/16 x 25 3/16in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE: Believed to have been gifted by Munnings as a wedding present to Norwich furrier Michael Carr Warren and his wife Elizabeth Warren, 1942. Thence by family descent.

    The lot is accompanied by a photocopy of a letter from the artist detailing the picture: 'Landscape with sheep is the picture: It is an old favourite of mine & will be a decorative style of thing for a room. - Hang it so that the light catches it from the side, that is on a side wall to a window not opposite - also thought that you might like the Sheffield plated candlsticks. Best Wishes, yrs. sincerely A. J. Munnings.'


    John Constable, who grew up in the valley where this scene was painted, once wrote "These scenes made me a painter...Painting is another word for feeling. I associate my 'careless boyhood' to all that lies on the banks of the Stour" (letter to John Fisher October 23, 1821). Munnings indicates in his memoirs that he too felt this sentiment. This simple scene of a cluster of trees standing tall over the Stour river valley below. This scene may be in fact a slightly different view point from Constable's Dedham Vale (RA 1828, National Gallery Scotland) both showing the valley and distant farm with its red roofs. Constable shows a gypsy resting under the trees while Munnings chose to illustrate sheep quietly grazing.


    Munnings was a devotee of Nature and he could look at a rural scene and become totally immersed in the beauty of it. Contrary to the trees in Constable's work that use the trees as a repoussoir element for spatial recession, Munnings' focus is on the trees themselves. Warm summer sunshine bathes the scene and he employs sparkling touches of pigment on branch tips, in the grass, on the sheeps' coats and to articulate the meandering river. His unwavering practice of painting en plein air enables Munnings to capture the balance between all the elements. Blue pigments from the sky are incorporated into the trees and shadows below making a unified composition. The dense architectural nature of the tree foliage contrasts with the wispiness of the foreground grasses enhancing the pictorial interest.

    Munnings' profound love of Nature (which he spelling with an uppercase N out of reverence) and the fact the he had evolved from the 18/19th century landscape masters might make one interpret this scene as Munnings'commentary on Natures dominance over the influence of man – tall formidable trees in contrast to the diminutive sheep and distant barns.

    We thank Lorian Peralta-Ramos for cataloguing this work which will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonne of Sir Alfred Munnings
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
AR Artists Resale Right

Goods subject to Artists Resale Right Additional Premium.

Contacts
  1. Daniel Wright
    Specialist - Fine Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    21 Churchgate Street
    Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom IP33 1RG
    Work +44 1284 716 195
    FaxFax: +44 1284 755 844
Similar items
Sir Alfred James Munnings P.R.A., R.W.S. (British, 1878-1959) The Start, Newmarket 46 x 61.5 cm. (18 1/8 x 24 1/4 in.) Sir Alfred James Munnings P.R.A., R.W.S. (1878-1959) Helter Skelter 44.5 x 54.5 cm. (17 1/2 x 21 1/2 Sir Alfred James Munnings, PRA, RWS (British, 1878-1959) The Fair Sir Alfred James Munnings P.R.A., R.W.S. (British, 1878-1959) The haymakers 63.4 x 76.3 cm. (25 x 30 in.) Sir Alfred James Munnings P.R.A., R.W.S. (1878-1959) The hunt 32 x 47 cm. (12 5/8 x 18 1/2 in.) Sir Alfred James Munnings P.R.A., R.W.S. (British, 1878-1959) The Cut 51 x 61 cm. (20 x 24 in.)