I wrote recently about the paintings of Sir Alfred Munnings and his portrayal of the horse in motion—flowing, graceful, muscles rippling, indescribably beautiful—on the occasion of the brilliant exhibition of his works at the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia. I am hopeful that one day I can announce to you an exhibition of the works of a contemporary artist—Charles Church—at that same venue!
Church, 43, is today an internationally renowned painter of horses, landscapes, and country life. Upon the occasion of his last critically-acclaimed exhibition, the Prince of Wales wrote of Charles’ “unique sensitivity and profound understanding of his subject matter.” His commissions have included The Royal Pageant of The Horse for H.M. The Queen, as well as paintings for H.M. The Sultan of Oman and H.H. The Aga Khan. His racing commissions include more than thirty-seven Group or Grade 1 winners.
Born in Northumberland, Church was attracted to horses at an early age. In his mid-twenties he spent a two-year apprenticeship in Florence studying to paint by size-sight, which is described as “an understanding of movement adopted by John Singer Sargent and Masters like Sir Joshua Reynolds and Velasquez as far back as the 17th century.”
Church studies his subjects and often paints en plein air as did Munnings, and the results are flashes of motion, transiency, and spontaneity. He obviously loves painting landscapes, and his renditions of the countryside as backdrops to his portraits add substantially to the dimensions of his works.
We hope you will enjoy some of his foxhunting paintings. Visit Church’s website for more of his work.
Posted September 25, 2013
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