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Sir Alfred James Munnings (1878-1959)

‘The night cometh, when no man shall work’ c. 1950-53

Pencil | 25.5 x 20.2 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 923050

Munnings is working frantically, oil dripping from his palette, as the sun goes down on him and the light fades. The inscribed quotation is from the Gospel of St John. This is a version of the design for the cover of Munnings' autobiography An Artist's Life (1950), and there is a strongly melancholy tone to the image of the 75-year-old artist, well aware that he was in the twilight of his career. The drawing formed part of the Royal Academy Coronation Gift to The Queen in 1953.