Rarely seen famous Munnings painting visited by horse rider's grandson

The Grey Horse, Ned Osborne being looked at by his grandson, John Osborne

The Grey Horse, Ned Osborne being looked at by his grandson, John Osborne at the Munnings Art Museum - Credit: Munnings Art Museum

The grandson of a horse rider celebrated in a famous Munnings painting has been to visit it on its rare opening to the public. 

Sir Alfred Munnings’ the Grey Horse, Ned Osborne on Grey Tick is on loan from private collector John Innes and can be visited at the artist's former home in Dedham. 

The model, Mr Osborne, can be seen riding the grey mare, Grey Tick, bareback with a fair at Zennor on the north coast of Cornwall in the background, where Munnings moved to in 1913.

 Sir Alfred Munnings

The Grey Horse, Ned Osborne on Grey Tick by Sir Alfred Munnings - Credit: Munnings Museum

His grandson, John Osborne, was "thrilled" to walk through the Munnings Art Museum's door to see the painting before him. 

Mr Osborne said: "I always remember him dressed very similarly to that in the painting, the only thing missing was his cap which was a permanent fixture on his head in his later life.


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"I would like to thank Jenny and her colleague Marcia Whiting, for making my visit a special day in my life.”

Munnings Art Museum director, Jenny Hand said: “We talked a lot about John’s grandfather, Ned, and he also told us more about his wider family.

Ned Osborne

Ned Osborne - Credit: Munnings Art Museum

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"Ned, who was a hard-working young man, was extremely proud to be part of Munnings’ world and to model for him on so many occasions.

"When Ned and Munnings parted company at the beginning of the First World War, Ned went off to Wales and worked as a coal miner.”

Mr Osborne explained that Ned left the coal mines after his mum passed away in 1918, with his father, several brothers, and two sons, Thomas and his father John.

"Returning to Cornwall, Ned acquired a small farm near Pendeen and not far from Zennor, where he lived until the 1960s," He added. "Horses were always in evidence on the farm, more for pleasure, as tractors took over the workload."

Ned Osborne

Ned Osborne - Credit: Munnings Art Museum

Mr Osborne and his father moved to Hertfordshire and only saw his grandfather on holidays before Ned's death at 93 in 1984 in Newbridge. 

The owner of the painting, John Innes said: “My grandfather was a great admirer and personal friend of Munnings.

"He purchased a number of paintings from him of which the Grey Horse was his absolute pride."

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