Alfred Munnings was born in 1878 at Mendham, Suffolk. At fourteen he was apprenticed to a Norwich printer, designing and drawing advertising posters for the next six years. He also studied at the Norwich School of Art. After his apprenticeship ended, he became a full time painter. He had no sight in his right eye, but it did not deflect his determination to paint, and in 1899 two of his pictures were shown at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. He painted rural scenes, frequently of subjects such as Gypsies and horses. He was also associated with the Newlyn School of painters.
Alfred Munnings was known as one of England’s finest painters of horses. . He used his art to depict horses involving in hunting and he painted racehorses. Engaged by Lord Beaverbrook’s Canadian War Memorials Fund, he earned several prestigious commissions after the Great War that made him wealthy. Munnings’s prolific career, spanning over 60 years, brought him honor, with election to the Presidency of the Royal Academy in 1944, a Knighthood in 1945, and a personal award from the Sovereign in 1947, when he was created Knight of the Royal Victorian Order.