Munnings, Sir Alfred PRA RWS (1878-1959)

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Sir Alfred Munnings is renowned for his horse paintings but he also produces some highly accomplished portraits. He was born in Mendham, Suffolk, on 8th October 1878, son of John Munnings, a miller and merchant. He studied at Norwich School of Art and Academie Julian, Paris. When he was twenty he lost the sight eye as the result of an injury from a briar when lifting a dog over a hedge.

Between 1893 and 1898 Munnings was apprenticed to firm of Page Brothers, lithographers Norwich, as a poster artist during which time he produced designs for Caley's Chocolates. In 1911 he moved to Lamorna in Cornwall, having been attracted by the Newlyn School, and became friendly with Harold and Laura Knight. He stayed until 1917 and in early 1918 was sent to France as an official war artist. In March 1920 he married the famed horsewoman Violet McBride.

Munnings was elected President of the Royal Academy in 1944 and was also knighted in the same year.