“The Finest View in Europe”


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The Finest View in Europe

by Snaffles (Charles Payne)

Gouttelette, Open Edition Print

Overall Size: 23 x 17 ins / 59 x 43 cm

One of the great names from British sporting art of the 20th Century. Published as goutelettes on high quality paper

Described by Lady Clive as the best known sporting picture of the present century, this is one of Snaffles most celebrated prints and, with The Worst View in Europe, is one half of his most famous pair. The classic hunting scene is presented as if the viewer is mounted on a grey horse, approaching a cut-and-laid fence. In the field beyond, a huntsman and a pack of foxhounds give swift chase. The remarque shows a fence-layer raising his hand as a holloa. The inspiration for this picture came in 1920 while Snaffles was staying with his friend Major Taffy Walwyn, an officer in the Royal Horse Artillery; the latter had recently been entrusted with the creation of a new riding school at Weedon Bec, in Northamptonshire, for both cavalry and artillery regiments. Snaffles rode Walwyns fine horse Rifle Brigade as they took part in the famous Pytchley hunt, and it was this experience which led to the creation of this print. The Finest View transformed Snaffles from a little-known sporting and military artist into a minor celebrity. The artist nostalgically reflected on the scene that is so beautifully rendered here: It was just Smelling Heaven, for neither barbed wire or tractors had invaded this fox-hunting Elysium in those days

watermarks do not appear on actual prints

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