Sir Alfred James Munnings P.R.A., R.W.S. (1878-1959)
Portrait of a Gentleman on a Bay Horse in a Park with a Church beyond
Oil on canvas
Signed ‘A.J. MUNNINGS’ lower right
28 x 30 inches (72.4 x 77.5 cm)
Mrs. Cynthia Cary, by 1935 and by descent to Guy Fairfax Cary JR
Elm Court, the Bellevue Avenue home of the family for four generations, was furnished during the early years of the 20th century by Mrs. Cary with taste and discernment, in a style reminiscent of the distinguished English homes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The ambiance was well suited to the period of the disciplines, mores and manners of her youth. Cynthia Cary was of the generation in Newport that emerged from the gilded age, possessing the self-assurance and comfortable confidence in their way of life inherent in the maturity that results from prior generations of wealth and privilege. Her life was one of quiet luxury surrounded by her friends that included Janet Auchincloss and Mary Whitehouse. After her death, Guy Cary continued to live a contented life at Elm Court which remained as it had been for years. Amongst the paintings within Elm Court was an Alfred Munnings, Portrait of a Gentleman on a Bay Horse.
In this painting Munnings captured the essence of elegance and grandeur of life for the English aristocracy in the pre-World War II period. The gentleman is apparently an accomplished horseman and sits with confidence astride an elegant bay horse in a parkland landscape with imposing walls to the right and a village church in the distance. He elegantly removes his top hat as he acknowledges the viewer and engages directly with a distant audience as he rides past. It is rare for Munnings to feature his subjects looking out of the canvas as they usually look straight ahead as they ride across the scene.
The unusual gesture of holding his hat as he rides past the viewer can be traced to earlier equestrian painters such as John Ferneley Senior whose portait of Mr. George Marriott shows the sitter jumping a fence in the hunting field and holding his top hat in his right hand as he acknowledges the viewer. It has been suggested that the formal attire of the sitter may be an indication that this was a portrait commemorating a successful equestrian competition – most likely dressage judging by the double reins, long stirrups, long trousers as well as the gait of the horse. The sitter is therefore possibly acknowledging the judges at the beginning or end of his performance.
Although the identity of the sitter remains unknown at present, it is thought to have been a commissioned work. The fluid and confident brushstrokes are typical of his commissioned works in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The portrait was acquired by Cynthia Burden (1884-1966), née Hon. Cynthia Burke Roche, daughter of the 3rd Baron Fermoy, probably directly from the artist on one of her trips back to England and is first recorded in her inventory in 1935 in their house in Long Island. The connection between the Burden family and Munnings had extended back into the 1920s when Munnings had painted Cynthia’s mother-in-law Mrs Burden in 1924 on his visit to Long Island. He mentions in his biography, ‘There were Mr. and Mrs. Burden of Syosset, the house which was occupied by the Prince of Wales during the international polo. Dear Mrs. Burden possessed a bay horse – an old favourite. I liked Mrs. Burden and her sixteen-year-old friend, the bay. What is more, her home was perfection, and she had the right taste and was the right sort, so the picture turned out well.’ (A.J. Munnings, The Second Burst, Bungay, 1951, p. 169). Cynthia Burden later married Mr. Guy Fairfax Cary, Sr.
It is interesting to note that Mrs. Guy Fairfax Cary owned another elegant equestrian portrait by Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823) entitled George Harley Drummond (1783-1855). Painted circa 1808-9 it depicts Mr. Drummond of Stanmore, Middlesex and Drumotchty, dressed in riding clothes, standing beside his grazing bay horse, his left arm upon the saddle and holding a hunting whip in his right hand. She gifted the painting to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1949 in memory of her mother Mrs. Burke Roche.
View Sir Alfred J. Munnings Artist Page
Travel by ENTREE
Palm Beach’s Jeanne Chisholm offers rare estate jewelry from Winston and CZ Guest
In our opinion, the dazzling Jeanne Chisholm has the finest gallery in America for polo and sporting arts. Established in 1979, the Chisholm Gallery, located at Wellington outside Palm Beach, simply has no equal for bronzes, paintings, estate silver and jewelry and historically important polo art and memorabilia.
Lovers of fine things will surely be interested in the fact that Jeanne is currently offering estate jewelry from the collection of Winston and CZ Guest. Winston Guest was a top-ranked polo player who was an international champion in the 1930s. His wife, “C. Z.”, was an American stage actress, author, columnist, horsewoman, fashion designer, and socialite who achieved great fame as a fashion icon.
Chisholm Gallery featured in Eldorado Polo Magazine 2017 – 60th Anniversary
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Jeanne Chisholm & Chisholm Gallery featured in IPC Magazine 2017
View Jeanne Chisholm’s Artist Page
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View Jeanne Chisholm’s Artist Page
“Asaroton 2000” Inspiration derived from the Ancient Roman Mosaic called Asaroton meaning unswept floor, Second Century A.D. 75 x 55 inches (1.7 x 1.4 meters)
Vanessa Somers Vreeland’s Mosaic: Asaroton 2,000
By Prof. Giandomenico Spinola
Expert on the Vatican Asaroton, Vatican Museums, Rome
The story of the “Asaroton Oikos,” the Unswept Floor, is very ancient. First mentioned by Pliny (Nat. Hist. XXXVI 184) who noted that this work was made for a mosaic pavement by Sosos, a well-known mosaic artist [in
the 2nd Century B.C.]
The fame of the Asaroton was astounding, due to the effect of its three-dimensionality (with shadows faithfully depicted), and as a work of beauty. The Romans copied it various times, including the Asaroton signed by Heraclitus, in our own Vatican Museum, and another version of it in the Museum of Aquileia. As in the original from Pergamon, these ancient Roman copies are works of technical virtuosity, made with tesserae (mosaic pieces) that are particularly small and carefully cut. In the Vatican Asaroton this comes down to nearly a million tesserae per square metre. Everything that was brought to the table in the Greco-Roman world can be found translated into rubbish on the unswept floor: fish bones, antennae of crustaceans, clam shells, chicken bones and feet, fruit skins and kernels, and so on. In the Vatican mosaic only the mouse is alive in this dead “tableau vivant,” while the theatrical masks, placed on one side of the floor, represent the entertainment. The value of such an art work is also in its allegories.
Pitagora said it was never necessary to clean up the fallen bits of food during a banquet, as they were destined for departed ancestors. It was a tradition to leave this detritus on the floor—at least until the guests had left—so as not to anger the dead.
There were always theatrics at a banquet: a traditional ceremony of poems, dances, plays. These receptions demonstrated the luxury and power of the host: with food brought in from foreign parts; expensive and highly exotic. The banquet represented in the Asaroton is exaggerated and ironic: imaginary rubbish, trash that doesn’t pollute or smell.
The precious and brilliant mosaic work of Vanessa Somers Vreeland represents a version just as artistic and ironic as the other Asaroton, naturally represented in a contemporary key. Instead of luxury she substituted modern technology. Instead of the contents there is often – though not only – its container. We should have entered into the era when garbage is sorted by categories, but our garbage is only theoretically recyclable; and here is our floor, our Earth, covered with empty cans, bottles and utensils from the kitchen and table. Our poor mouse doesn’t have much for his banquet. Vanessa Somers Vreeland’s mosaics are artistic masterpieces. They are also, perhaps, in her heart a satirical denunciation of what and how much we consume as well as what and how much detritus we leave for posterity.
View Vanessa Somers Vreeland’s Artist Page
View Ewdina Sandy’s Artist Page
“Prancing Tulips” Limited Edition on canvas, Artist’s Proof Edition of 45, 30 x 40 inches, Signed & Dated 2003
“Dancing Tulips” Limited Edition on canvas, Edition: 2/45, 40 x 30 inches, Signed & Dated 2003
View Tsolmon Damba’s Artist Page
Born in Darkhan City of Northern Mongolia in 1970, Tsolmon Damba studied Monumental Art at the College of Fine Art in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Upon graduation he taught Studio Art at the College for two years. He has had a number of live demonstrations at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. As recognition for the universal appeal for his art, Tsolmon was chosen to paint a mural for the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. Not only is he remarkably original in his ideas, all of his artworks are original – he makes no reproductions.
“On The Way Home” Watercolour on paper, 40 x 31 inches, Signed & Stamped
“Genghis Kahn” Ink on paper, 27 x 33 inches, Inscribed, Signed & Stamped
Visit Jeremy Rugge-Price’s Artist Page
“Forever and a Day” Oil on board, 18 x 24 inches, Signed
“Pilot Cutter” Oil on panel, 18 x 24 inches, Signed
“Across the Valley” Oil on canvas, 6 x 12 inches, Signed lower right
Visit Elizabeth Guarisco’s Artist Page
Elizabeth Guarisco, American Contemporary
Wind and the Arabian Stallon II
Bronze on revolving walnut base
11.25 x 10.5 x 8 inches
Signed: E. Guarisco
Provenance: The Artist
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