George Stubbs

1724-1806 England/Rococo

 

Brief Biography-George Stubbs was surprisingly a self-taught artist. He was born in Liverpool, the son of a currier and leather merchant. He worked briefly for the engraver Hamlet Winstanley, copying paintings at Knowsley Hall outside Liverpool. He fell out with his master over which pictures to copy and vowed never to reproduce other artists' works again but to study from nature only. In Leeds, he worked as a portrait painter and from there he went to York where he studied anatomy. Doctor John Burton commissioned him to engrave his treatise on midwifery. Stubbs produced some of the engravings from his anatomical study of a dead woman. He was renowned for dissecting humans and animals.
In 1754, he visited Italy, as he felt obliged to do as other artists do. There he observed the works of the renaissance artists and promptly returned to England, nature to him was his only master. He stayed in Lincolnshire when he returned and spent his time painting portraits and dissecting horses to prepare for his book 'The Anatomy of a Horse'.
Stubbs went to London in 1760, where he settled with his common-law wife Mary Spencer and his son George. It took him until 1766 to complete his etchings and have his work published. It gained him a reputation throughout Europe in science and art. He received numerous commissions from the racing fraternity, and his works were held in high esteem by Joshua Reynolds who became a patron. His lion and horse paintings were a prevalent subject, and his most famous painting is that of the horse Whistlejacket.
In 1781, the Royal Academy made him a Royal Academician, a title he long-awaited. He was, however, to argue with the Academy over the hanging of his enamel works a year later which denied him his title.
Despite gaining Royal commissions, he struggled financially in his later years. He embarked on a new anatomical book, 'A Comparative Anatomical Exposition of the Structure of the Human Body with that of a Tiger and a Common Fowl'. He died in 1806, before the full book's publication. Miss Spencer inherited all of his property.

 

Click an Image to Enlarge

Cheetah and Dear
with Two Indians

Cheetah and Lion with Two Indians

Horse attacked
by Lion

Horse attacked by Lion

Mares and Foals
in River Landscape

Mares and Foals in River Landscape

Soldiers of the
10th Light Lagoons

Soldiers of the tenth light Lagoons

The
Pointer

The pointer

Leopad-
Enamel

Leopard-Enamel


Whistlejacket

Whistlejacket


Reapers

Reapers

Huntsmen Setting
out from Southill

Huntsmen Setting out from Southhill

Miss Isabella
Saltonstall as Una

Miss Isabella Saltonstall as Una In Spencwe's Faerie Queene

Milbanke and
Melbourne Families

Milbanke and Melbourne Families

Princ of Wales's
Phaeton

Prince of Wales's Pheaton

William
Anderson

William Anderson


Haymakers

Haymakers

A Lion
Attacking

A Lion Attacking a Horse

Baboon
and Albino

Baboon and Albino

Death
of a Doe

Death of a Doe

Portrait of
john nelthorpe

portrait of john nelthorpe as a child

Lion Devouring
a Horse

Lion Devouring a Horse

Lady and Lord
in a Phaeton

Lady and Lord in a Phaeton

White
Dog

Viscount Gormanston's White Dog

Self
-portrait

Self-portrait

Horse
Embarrassed

The Horse Embarrassed by a Lion