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  George Stubbs  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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George Stubbs
 
 

Self-Portrait
 
 
George Stubbs, (born Aug. 24, 1724, Liverpool, Eng.—died July 10, 1806, London), outstanding English animal painter and anatomical draftsman.

The son of a prosperous tanner, Stubbs was briefly apprenticed to a painter but was basically self-taught. His interest in anatomy, revealed at an early age, became one of the driving passions of his life. His earliest surviving works are 18 plates etched for Dr. John Burton’s Essay Towards a Complete New System of Midwifery (1751). In the 1750s Stubbs made an exhaustive analysis of the anatomy of the horse. He rented a farmhouse in a remote Lincolnshire village, where, over a period of 18 months, he undertook the painstaking dissection of innumerable specimens. After moving permanently to London in 1760, Stubbs etched the plates for Anatomy of the Horse (1766), which became a major work of reference for naturalists and artists alike. Stubbs soon established a reputation as the leading painter of portraits of the horse. His masterly depictions of hunters and racehorses brought him innumerable commissions. Perhaps more impressive than the single portraits are his pictures of informal groups of horses, such as Mares and Foals in a Landscape (c. 1760–70).

Stubbs also painted a wide variety of other animals, including the lion, tiger, giraffe, monkey, and rhinoceros, which he was able to observe in private menageries. According to the artist Ozias Humphrey, Stubbs was so convinced of the importance of observation that he visited Italy in 1754 only to reinforce his belief that nature is superior to art. Among Stubbs’s best-known pictures are several depicting a horse being frightened or attacked by a lion (Horse Frightened by a Lion, 1770) in which he emphasizes the wild terror of the former and the predatory power of the latter.

Stubbs’s historical paintings are among the least successful of his works; much more convincing are his scenes of familiar country activities done in the 1770s. Unfortunately, he tended to execute his paintings in thin oil paint, and relatively few survive in undamaged condition. In later life Stubbs knew considerable hardship. His last years were spent on a final work of anatomical analysis: A Comparative Anatomical Exposition of the Structure of the Human Body, with that of a Tiger and Common Fowl, for which he completed 100 drawings and 18 engravings. The Anatomical Works of George Stubbs was published in 1975.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 

 
 
 
 
 
 


Whistlejacket
1761-62
Oil on canvas, 325 x 259 cm
Private collection






A Horse Frightened by a Lion






William Anderson with Two Saddle-horses
1793
Oil on canvas, 102,2 x 127,9 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor



The Milbanke and Melbourne Families
c. 1769
Oil on canvas, 97 x 149 cm
National Gallery, London







Lion Devouring a Horse
1763

 


Haymaking
1785
Oil on wood, 89,5 x 132,5 cm
Tate Gallery, London



The Grosvenor Hunt





Dame und Herr in einem Phaeton



Der Phaeton des Prince of Wales



Self-Portrait





Die Jager verlassen Southill




Gepard mit zwei indischen Dienern und einem Hirsch



Gimcrack mit einem Reitknecht auf Newmarket Heath



Leopard




Pferde in einer Landschaft



Portrat der Isabella Saltonstall als Una







Lion Attacking a Horse


 


Portrat des Jockeys John Lar



Portrat des John Nelthorpe als Kind



Soldaten des 10. Dragonerregiments







Mother and Child





Portrait of a Young Gentleman Out Shooting






Newmarket Heath, with a Rubbing Down House



 


Lion Attacking a Horse
1769





Yeguas y potros en un paisaje





Captain Samuel Sharpe Pocklington with His Wife, Pleasance, and possibly His Sis





Reapers





A Couple of Foxhounds

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
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