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Sir Alfred J. Munnings, 1878–1959

Start at Newmarket: Study No. 4

ca. 1947
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on panel
36 x 72 1/4 inches (91.4 x 183.5 cm), Frame: 43 3/4 × 79 3/4 × 3 1/4 inches (111.1 × 202.6 × 8.3 cm)

Signed in brown paint, lower left: "A.J. Munnings"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
© Estate of Sir Alfred Munnings
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
animals | athletes | competition | equestrians | horses (animals) | jockey cap | jockeys | race (event) | racecourse | riding habit | sportsmen | study (visual work) | uniform
Associated Places:
England | Europe | Newmarket | Suffolk | United Kingdom
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Alfred Munnings was the most accomplished painter of horses of his generation and self-consciously fashioned himself as the heir of the great tradition of British sporting art. He frequently tackled the subject of horses and jockeys jostling before the start of a race but remarked upon how difficult it was to capture the moment: “Orange satin, cerise-and-white, blue-and-yellow, emerald green—a large field waiting, regrouping. At each start, determining to retain the picture in my mind, too often an incident, something a horse is doing, distracts, and once again my purpose is thwarted.” Despite his misgivings, this painting is a masterpiece of movement and the constrained equine energy about to be released.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Munnings - Out in the Open (National Sporting Library and Museum, 2013-04-24 - 2013-09-15) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The Mastery of Munnings (National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, 2000-07-08 - 2000-09-05) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Munnings, Out in the Open : the open-air works of Sir Alfred James Munnings (English, 1878-1959) , National Sporting Library and Museum, Middleburg, VA, 2013, pp. viii, 75, 94-95, 129, pl. 55, NJ18.M9625 M8 2013 (YCBA) [YCBA]

My favourite painting : Start at Newmarket : Study No 4 by Sir Alfred Munnings, Country Life, vol. 221, October 18, 2023, p. 46, S3 .C68 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Paul Mellon's Legacy : a passion for British art [large print labels], , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 1, N5220 M552 P381 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

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