The Finest View in Europe by Snaffles


The Finest View in Europe



Ref GM025
Type Fine Art Print
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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 Walwyn’s 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.”