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Hung at the Royal Academy in 1952, this painting was originally titled 'In the Room: A Problem Picture'. It caused quite a stir amongst the public and press as it was so unlike any other painting ever exhibited by Munnings. Munnings stated that he just let the painting develop as the fancy took him. Initially focussing on just the figure in the bed, he later decided that the picture needed a ghost. When asked about the narrative he was rather vague where 'maybe' the man on the ground had run the ghost through in a duel. Munnings first saw the actual bed that he portrays in the painting whilst staying with the historian and archaeologist Sir William Halliday, principal of Kings College. He decided to capture it on the spot. the bed was reputed to have had a sinister past, coming from Littlecote Hall, Wiltshire.
The Haunted Room, Painted at a Farmhouse on Exmoor
oil on canvas
H 102.2 x W 115.6 cm
gift from the artist