20th Century British Art

Sir Thomas Monnington (1902-1976)

Painter, especially of murals. Born in London, he studied at the Slade School in 1918-23 and was Rome Scholar in 1923-26. He married fellow Rome Scholar Winifred Knights in 1924. Among his public works are a decoration for St Stephen's Hall, Westminster, 1928, and the new Council House in Bristol, 1956. Monnington taught drawing at the Royal Academy Schools, 1931-39, and in 1949 joined the staff of the Slade, whose strong linear tradition marked his own work. Monnington is represented in a number of public galleries, including the Tate, British Museum and Imperial War Museum. He was elected RA in 1938, became its President in 1966 and was knighted in 1967. There was a memorial exhibition at the RA in 1977. Another traveled from the British School at Rome to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter and the Fine Art Society in 1997. From the 1940s Monnington lived in Groombridge, Kent; the local landscape inspired much of his post-war work. Monnington was one of the outstanding draughtsmen of his generation. He had a considerable influence as a teacher (Euan Uglow was among his pupils), and was one of the most effective of the twentieth-century presidents of the RA, turning around the Academy's ailing fortunes. Remarkably he was the first president of the Academy to produce abstract paintings and indeed made no distinction between abstract and figurative art: "Surely what matters is not whether a work is abstract or representative, but whether it has merit. If those who visit exhibitions would come without preconceptions, would apply to art the elementary standards they apply in other spheres, they might glimpse new horizons. They might ask themselves: is this work distinguished or is it commonplace? Fresh and original or uninspired, derivative and dull? Is it modest or pretentious?" (Interview in the Christian Science Monitor, 29.5.67).

Selected Literature: Judy Egerton, Sir Thomas Monnington, Royal Academy of Arts, 1977 Paul Liss, Sir Thomas Monnington, British School at Rome/Fine Art Society plc, 1997

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Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Sheet of studies

Sir Thomas Monnington
Sheet of studies
£375
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Design for Students’ Union, University of London, circa 1969

Sir Thomas Monnington
Design for Students’ Union
£2450
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study for the ceiling of the Mary Harris Memorial Chapel of Holy Trinity, University of Exeter, 1956

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study for the ceiling of the Mary...
£375
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Geometric Painting (commissioned by the Edwin Austin Abbey Trust for Mural Painting), 1969

Sir Thomas Monnington
Geometric Painting (commissioned by...
£1950
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study for Design for Bristol Council House ceiling, circa 1953

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study for Design for Bristol Council...
£450
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study with colour notes for Clouds and Spitfires, circa 1943

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study with colour notes for Clouds...
£400
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Bomb Store under Camouflage Netting, circa 1940

Sir Thomas Monnington
Bomb Store under Camouflage Netting
£245
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study for The Act of Union, St. Stephens Hall, Palace of Westminster, circa 1926

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study for The Act of Union
£2750
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study of Olive leaves, for Allegory , 1924

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study of Olive leaves
£950
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study of Olive leaves, for Allegory , 1924

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study of Olive leaves
£950
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study 3 for square root, c. 1969

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study 3 for square root, c. 1969
£1300
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study 2 for square root, c. 1969

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study 2 for square root, c. 1969
£1800
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study 4 for square root, c. 1969

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study 4 for square root, c. 1969
£1800
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Geometric design, lozenge format, late 1960s

Sir Thomas Monnington
Geometric design
£550
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study for Mobile Radar Unit, (IWM) , 1944

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study for Mobile Radar Unit
£540
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study for Fighter Affiliation: Halifax and Hurricane Aircraft Co-Operating in Action, c. 1943

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study for Fighter Affiliation:...
£350
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study for Radar Unit, 1944

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study for Radar Unit, 1944
£440
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study for the olive tree in Allegory, c. 1924

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study for the olive tree in Allegory
£1650
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study for Allegory

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study for Allegory
£5000
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study 1 for Reciprocity, c. 1970

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study 1 for Reciprocity, c. 1970
£2090
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study for A Commissioner, St. Stephens Hall, Palace of Wesminster, circa 1926

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study for A Commissioner
£460
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Design for the ceiling of the Mary Harris Memorial Chapel, (pale ground) University of Exeter, (1956

Sir Thomas Monnington
Design for the ceiling of the Mary...
£10560
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study for St. Lukes Printing Works, c. 1935

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study for St. Luke's Printing Works
£1320
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Overflying aeroplanes, study for Clouds and Spitfires, circa 1943

Sir Thomas Monnington
Overflying aeroplanesFor sale 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: View from the cockpit

Sir Thomas Monnington
View from the cockpitFor sale 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Exploding bombs and rockets, study for Clouds and Spitfires

Sir Thomas Monnington
Exploding bombs and rocketsFor sale 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Design for the ceiling of the Mary Harris Memorial Chapel of Holy Trinity, University of Exeter, 1956

Sir Thomas Monnington
Design for the ceiling of the Mary...For sale 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Baptism, circa 1924

Sir Thomas Monnington
Baptism, circa 1924For sale 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Design for Students’ Union, University of London, circa 1969

Sir Thomas Monnington
Design for Students’ UnionFor sale 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study of a laurel bush, 1919

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study of a laurel bush, 1919 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study of White Narcissus for the foreground of Allegory, circa 1923

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study of White Narcissus for the... 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Nocera Umbra, 1925

Sir Thomas Monnington
Nocera Umbra, 1925 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Winter

Sir Thomas Monnington
Winter 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Christ meeting the woman of Samaria at the well, circa 1930

Sir Thomas Monnington
Christ meeting the woman of Samaria... 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study for Winter, circa 1922

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study for Winter, circa 1922 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study for Allegory: head of woman to right, circa 1925

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study for Allegory: head of woman to... 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Study for Allegory, circa 1924

Sir Thomas Monnington
Study for Allegory, circa 1924 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: Cartoon for Winter, circa 1921

Sir Thomas Monnington
Cartoon for Winter, circa 1921 
Artist Sir Thomas Monnington: The Annunciation, circa 1924/5

Sir Thomas Monnington
The Annunciation, circa 1924/5