|By Lionel Edwards. Image size 16'' x 11'' (40 x 28 cms).
This is a hugely impressive painting by one of the twentieth century’s finest sporting artists. Lionel Edwards’ proficiency in depicting equestrian sports was unsurpassed, and his prolific output during a long career assured him of a deserved celebrity that has lasted to this day.
The difficulty of portraying horses moving at speed had thwarted the ambitions of many equestrian artists, but it was a challenge that Edwards relished and one which he was well qualified to surmount. “If the horsemen can be slightly strung out,” he wrote, “that is following each other without long gaps between them, and partially eclipsed by each other, so much the better…. The whole thing is very tricky, and wants far greater thought than we usually give to it.”
This painting was executed in 1962, towards the end of Edwards’ career. He turned 84 that year, but had lost none of his zest for life, and continued to hunt well into his ninth decade. “During the last twenty years of his life,” his close friend Kathleen Aldridge remarked, “Lionel painted entirely to give other people pleasure and for his own pleasure – certainly not for the money.” This simple love of his work and of the subjects that he painted is evident in this beautiful work.