The Grand National (Monty's Pass)
|Title||The Grand National (Monty’s Pass)|
|Paper Size (W x H)||23 x 17 ins|
This painting of Graham Isom is a depiction of the Martell Grand National at Aintree in 2003. The painting shows Monty’s Pass in the lead, ridden by Barry Geraghty, who went on to win the race by twelve lengths, with Leighton Aspell on Supreme Glory, and Graham Lee on Amberleigh House coming second and third.
Amberleigh House, incidentally, went on to win the Grand National in 2004, again under Graham Lee and for trainer Ginger McCain, who also trained Red Rum. In this painting, Graham Isom brilliantly captures the urgency and sheer physicality of the moment. The soft focus grass, hedge and sky, and the rich, gestural marks depicting the horses in flight, all combine to accentuate the noisiness of the scene, reinforcing speed and movement and the fury of the race, emphasised by the turning of the horses to the left, which creates drama and excitement within the composition.
Each print is hand numbered and accompanied by a certificate signed by the artist. The certificate is numbered to match the print.
Graham Isom is a multi-award-winning equestrian artist with an obvious love for his subject, described by Portfolio magazine as a painter “who is breaking new ground by combining an eye for thrilling sporting action with the finest attributes of this demanding and specialized art”.
He was born in 1945, in Farnborough, Kent and brought up around his father's riding school, where he developed his love of horses, and subsequently studied at Ravensbourne College of Art, where he specialized in sculpture.
After teaching 'A' Level students for five years in Dorset, his private commissions increased sufficiently to enable him to devote all his time to painting, and for two years he specialized in figure studies. After a series of jobs in the late sixties and early seventies, he turned freelance in 1973. In 1988, he moved to Somerset and started to produce some of his most successful work.
Since then his paintings have won numerous awards. From the Society of Equestrian Artists, these include the Michael Stewart Award for Best Oil, the Messrs Fores Award for Best Sporting Picture, the Lyra UK Award for the Best Drawing, the Most Popular Picture, and the Horse & Hound Award for the Best Racing Picture. Every year from 1990 to 1993 he was decorated by the 'American Academy of Equine Artists' and in 1993 alone he received a trio of awards: 'Best Racing Picture', 'Best Sporting Picture' and 'Most Popular Picture'.
Regular exhibitions throughout the UK and USA, together with his acceptance into both the 'American Academy of Equine Art' and the 'Society of Equine Artists', have resulted in his work being collected around the world. His painting, 'The Prince of Wales Cup', featuring Prince Charles playing polo, was auctioned in Florida in aid of the Friends of Conservation charity for $29,000.
Charles Lane, writing for Horse & Hound, said: "Graham Isom's style is always changing, if almost imperceptibly, and a recent less-rigid delineation and softer use of colour now gives his paintings much more warmth than in the past, without detracting from a tremendous ability to paint horses in action."
About the Artist
Graham Isom is a multi-award-winning equestrian artist with an obvious love for his subject, described by Portfolio magazine as a painter “who is breaking new ground by combining an eye for thrilling sporting action with the finest attributes of this demanding and specialized art”.Find out more