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Reinagle was best-known for his landscape, sporting and animal subjects. This splendid conversation-piece, the first work by him to enter the Collection, demonstrates that he was also an accomplished portrait painter.

This scene showing the members of a Norfolk hunt seems to exemplify the whole ethos of English sporting life in the eighteenth century. It is a somewhat austere portrayal of a respectable and healthy group of gentlemen about to embark on their morning exercise. In this it is in contrast to the more critical images of sportsmen found in literature of the period, which satirised them for their boorish behaviour.

August 2004