Charlie Johnson Payne (Snaffles) (1884 – 1967)  

Snaffles is considered by many to have been "one of the greatest sporting and military artist of his time" 

 

Charles "Snaffles" Johnson Payne (1884–1967) was an English painter best known for his humorous work. Snaffles specialised in water colours and drawings sold as prints which, at least initially, were hand coloured by the artist and his sisters. His subject matter was invariably military, racing or hunting / equestrian scenes (polo, pig sticking), or some combination of these.

 

Many of his most famous pictures contrast or combine military life with the peacetime pursuits of racing and hunting. The Grand National features in a number of his pictures, including "The Grand National – the Canal Turn", "A National Candidate" and arguably his most famous work: a pair of pictures showing "The Finest View in Europe" (picture painted from the perspective of a hunt follower, looking over the ears of his mount, with hounds running and a number of hedges to jump) and "The Worst View in Europe". In this image race horse and jockey are shown approaching a formidable fence in sheeting rain, with a loose horse to the subject's right possibly about to cut him up, and the back end of a further horse which has come to grief over the fence immediately in front of the subject. One assumes that the 'view' in question is that of the jockey. It could conceivably be that of a racegoer / punter who has backed the inept and drunken jockey shown – the perspective shown in the picture is in fact that of the spectator, albeit observing the jockey looking at the fence ahead of him.

 

His most famous military scenes include a number of studies of different types of soldier fighting in the Great War, e.g. "Anzac" (Australian / NZ soldier), "Jock", "The Gunner", "The Canadian", "The DR" (dispatch rider) etc.

 

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Snaffles on a Hunter ca. 1910

4 Dundas Street New Town EH3 6HZ Edinburgh

Monday - Friday 10 am - 6 pm  Saturday 11 am - 4 pm

 

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