“Sybil Harker On Saxa with the Norwich Staghounds”



Sybil Harker On Saxa with the Norwich Staghounds

by Sir Alfred Munnings


Paper Size: 27 x 32 ins / 68 x 81 cm

Image Size: 22 x 28 ins / 71 x 71 cm

This painting was produced by Munnings as an oil on canvas with dimensions of approximately 34.5 x 40. Sybil Harker was Master of the Norwich Staghounds for over thirty years around the time of the Second World War. Munnings regularly rode out with the Staghounds and he describes in his autobiography the members as comprising a cavalcade of farmers, a doctor or two, a squire or two, a butcher perhaps, a veterinary, some hard riding ladies. Unofficially, he was Artist of the Hunt and he describes in his book how he typically rode out with a black velvet cap on my head, a dark grey melton coat, white cord breeches and boots with brown tops. He also describes a hunt with the staghounds: Church steeples show ahead and are left behind. Through quiet villages and farms we clatter on into open country again. The pack slackens to a check. Again hounds are on the line, and so, hugging headlands and furrow on the ploughland, and sailing on across pastures and a stubble or two. Sybil Harker and Munnings were lifelong friends and the sitter is portrayed in profile, riding sidesaddle on her bay hunter, Saxa, against a Norfolk landscape. The hound in the foreground is believed to have been her favourite. Around them are grouped the rest of the hounds, with the hunt in the distance and the towers of Wymondham Abbey in the distance. Munnings described Sybil Harker in his autobiography as tall and dark, wearing a dark blue habit and a black velvet cap. Her horse was a big bay, called Saxa, named after the table salt

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