Influences: George Stubbs

George Stubbs (born in Liverpool on 25 August 1724 – died in London 10 July 1806) was a British painter, best known for his paintings of horses. He was, largely, self-taught.

Artwork

In the 1740s Stubbs worked as a portrait painter in the North of England and from about 1745 to 1751 he studied human anatomy at York County Hospital. One of his earliest surviving works is a set of illustrations for a textbook on midwifery which was published in 1751.

In 1755 Stubbs visited Italy. Forty years later he told Ozias Humphry that his motive for going to Italy was, "to convince himself that nature was and is always superior to art whether Greek or Roman, and having renewed this conviction he immediately resolved upon returning home". In the late 1750s he rented a farmhouse in Lincolnshire and spent 18 months dissecting horses. He moved to London in about 1759 and in 1766 published The anatomy of the Horse. The original drawings are now in the collection of the Royal Academy.

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Even before his book was published, Stubbs's drawings were seen by leading aristocratic patrons, who recognised that his work was infinitely more accurate than that of earlier horse painters such as James Seymour and John Wootton. In 1759 the 3rd Duke of Richmond commissioned three large pictures from him, and his career was soon secure.

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Geoff Bunn Art & Artist


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