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Summary Article: Stubbs, George
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English artist. He is renowned for his paintings of horses, such as Mares and Foals (about 1763; Tate Gallery, London). After the publication of his book of engravings The Anatomy of the Horse (1766), he was widely commissioned as an animal painter. The dramatic Lion Attacking a Horse (1770; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut) and the peaceful Reapers (1786; Tate Gallery, London) show the variety of mood in his painting.

Stubbs was largely self-taught. As a young man he practised portrait painting in York and elsewhere in the north of England while studying human and animal anatomy, and in 1754 went to Rome, continuing these studies. Before settling in London in 1759 he rented a farm and carried out a series of dissections of horses, the results of which appeared in The Anatomy of the Horse. He was often employed by the sporting aristocracy to paint racehorses, Gimcrack with a Groom, Jockey and Stable-lad on Newmarket Heath, painted for Viscount Bolingbroke, being a notable example. He was also in demand as a portrait painter, especially of family groups, and painted some works in enamel colours on copper and on Wedgwood china plaques.

Once seen as only an expert animal painter, Stubbs has come to be regarded as one of the major English artists of the 18th century in power of design and composition and all-round ability.

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Stubbs, George

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