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My Wife, My Horse and Myself

© The Munnings Art Museum. Image credit: The Munnings Art Museum

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This is one of Munnings's best-known works and a far more technical painting than it first seems. Munnings has used the architecture of the house to frame key aspects of the picture. Violet is directly in the middle of the composition, with perspectival depth emphasised by the angles of Munnings's hat and palette. The colours blend and balance, with the blue of Munnings's cravat, replicated on his palette; the red of Violet's lipstick on the saddle and curtain. Far from being repetitive, Munnings is cleverly reinventing an 18th-century conversation piece. These were paintings commissioned by the titled and wealthy that portrayed the family group surrounded by representations of their wealth and status. When art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon criticised the conservatism of British art, he described this painting as 'the most defiantly British picture of the twentieth century.

The Munnings Art Museum



My Wife, My Horse and Myself


exhibited 1935


oil on canvas


H 101 x W 126.4 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from the artist

Work type


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The Munnings Art Museum

Castle House, Dedham, Colchester, Essex CO7 6AZ England

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