Badminton by Lionel Edwards




Lionel Edwards

Ref GM113
Type Fine Art Print
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This is a wonderful painting by one of the finest sporting artists of the twentieth century. Lionel Edwards was a hugely enthusiastic fox hunter throughout his life, and his enthusiasm for the sport, coupled with his wealth of knowledge of its intricacies, equipped him to capture the spirit of hunting in a way that few could rival. In his autobiography, Edwards wrote that “no animals so utterly defeat the artist as the deer tribe…. The dignity and pride of the stag is difficult to depict. Every pair of antlers vary, and when drawn from a stuffed head usually look wrong.” With characteristic modesty, Edwards omitted to mention that the subject never even began to defeat him: along with Frank Wallace, Edwards was widely acclaimed as the finest deer painter of his time. His expertise is magnificently demonstrated in this beautiful depiction of the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, with the famous Badminton House in the background. This painting was executed in October 1917, while war raged in Europe. Too old to fight in the First World War, Edwards joined the War Office department known as the Remount Service, as did other well known equestrian artists such as Alfred Munnings and Cecil Aldin. During the war, huge numbers of horses were required by the British Army, and it was the Remount Service’s responsibility to evaluate the many thousands that had been requisitioned all over the country, and many more that were shipped from overseas, and to prepare them for active service. Edwards worked hard at his job, often having as many as five hundred horses under his charge; but his love of hunting remained strong, and his days with the Duke of Beaufort’s, so beautifully portrayed here, gave him welcome respite during the hard years of conflict.