The Berger Collection

Sir Alfred J. Munnings, KCVO, PRA, RWS, RP (1878-1959)
Sir Abe Bailey's Tiberius, 1935
Oil on panel
Signed. Inscribed, Sir Abe Bailey's Tiberius / Winner of Ascot Gold Cup in 1935 / first study in loose box at Manton
16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm)

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During his long career, Munnings painted some of the most successful racehorses of the twentieth century. This work is one of several studies the artist made in preparation for a larger portrait of the champion horse Tiberius. With just a few sketchy yet powerful strokes, Munnings has captured the grace and poise of the winner of the 1935 Ascot Gold Cup - one of the most important prizes in the racing calendar - as he waits in his horsebox. The final version of the portrait is now in the National Gallery of Art in Capetown, South Africa, to which it was bequeathed in 1950 by the horse's proud owner Sir Abe Bailey. Munnings wrote of the portrait in his autobiography The Second Burst, "I have painted only four Gold Cup winners, among them Solario, Foxlaw and Tiberius.... Tiberius, trained by Lawson, was painted with his jockey Weston, at Manton. As a picture I prefer Tiberius to the other two."


Continental Galleries of Fine Art, Montreal; John Leech Ltd., Auckland; Uno Langmann Ltd., Vancouver; Sotheby's, New York, April 11, 1997, lot 200

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