A Gala Day by Sir Alfred Munnings



Title

A Gala Day

Artist

Sir Alfred Munnings

Ref EG150
Type Print
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Description  
Munnings bought Castle House in Dedham and used many of the villagers from Dedham in his paintings. For example (and quoting from Munnings Autobiography, Volume I page 111), “There was Dan Betts, one of our carters, who wore small silver earrings, and shaved off his moustache for me to put him in the picture, and become so transfigured that his wife and children did not know him. A kind man and father. I used the family. Tilly, his little daughter, stands peeling an orange, with Jimmy, who was eating one, in the picture I called ‘A Gala Day’, which now hangs in the Art Gallery in Preston.” Munnings submitted ‘A Gala Day’ to the Royal Academy in 1903 and it was one of the five pictures of his which was hung in that year. He says of the painting in his autobiography that “it was not a large painting, and was hung on the line in the gem room. When staying with an alderman of Preston, in a weak moment, after a lot of champagne and all sorts of eating and drinking in the Hodder Bridge Hotel, I sold it to him for £25.” Other local villagers featured in ‘A Gala Day’, including pale Jimmy Betts, who wears a wide sunhat shading his face and eats n orange whilst his sister Tilly is peeling hers. The picture also shows Hoppy Daniels and other friends of the past.