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Sir Alfred Munnings: War Painter
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Sir Alfred Munnings: War Painter

In the small English countryside village of Mendham, an artist was born. The artist's name was Sir Alfred Munnings. He was known as one of England's finest painter of horses. Born on October 8, 1878, to a miller, Alfred was immersed in the hustle and bustle of a working mill. Daily life in the mill brought in a constant stream of horses and wagons. 

As he got older, he became an apprentice to a lithographer where he learned valuable skills in printmaking and illustrating advertisement posters. He worked there from 1893 to 1898. It was during this time he also attended the Norwich School of Art. He became a full-time painter upon the completion of his apprenticeship. He was noted for his paintings of rural life and horses. His paintings often depicted horses racing and hunting.

In 1917, World War I broke out. Munnings enlisted, but an injury to his right eye in 1899 made him unfit for battle. So, he became a horse trainer and a war artist for the Royal Canadian Cavalry. He finished 40 pieces of work while painting on the front lines, one of which was his portrait of General Steely's horse Warrior, which was painted not far from the German line. Munnings had to retreat during this portrait. It was then he learned the terrors of war.  One of his most well-known painting includes the Charge of Flowerdews Squadron. The charge became known as the "last great cavalry charge". 

In his later years, he moved to a home called Castle House in Dedham. It was there he lived out his final days with his wife Violet, who was also a horsewoman. Munnings career lasted for over 60 years and brought him many awards including becoming Knight of the Victorian Order and president of the Royal Academy of Art.      

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