Horse-themed Munnings oil painting could fetch $US1.2m at auction

ortrait of Charles and Grace Amory will be auctioned on April 25. Photo: Christie's
Air Alfred Munning’s Portrait of Charles and Grace Amory will be auctioned on April 25. Photo: Christie’s

An oil painting by British artist Sir Alfred Munnings is expected to fetch up to $US1.2 million when auctioned in New York this month.

The work, Portrait of Charles and Grace Amory, will feature in Christie’s 19th Century European Art Sale on April 25.

The auction house believes the oil-on-canvas work, measuring 85.1cm by 97.2cm, will fetch between $US800,000 and $US1.2 million.

Portraits of children by Munnings are rare.

Munnings was commissioned by Herbert Pulitzer, of New York, to paint his step-children in the highlands of Scotland.

He travelled to Glenfiddich Lodge to undertake the work, and describes the undertaking in the second volume of his autobiography.

“My painting has even taken me to the Highlands, to a long, low house in the grouse moors somewhere above Dufftown,” he wrote.

“This was a shooting-lodge rented from the Duke of Richmond and Gordon by the Pulitzers of New York.

“There I painted a fair, curly-headed brother and his sister, a girl with the longest and most beautiful tresses I ever saw, both riding thick, Highland garrons, by a running, highland stream with a hill background. Rain, which never stopped, made this a memorable visit.”

Charles and Grace Amory are depicted relaxed in the saddle, enjoying a ride in the countryside. Their carefree attitude is reflected in their lack of correct riding attire – a skirt and shorts with bare knees.

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