In the artistic world there have been outstanding artists in the world of painting. However, some have the particularity of drawing on a specific topic, or have become famous from a recurring theme in his work. The case of George Stubbs is one of these. Stubbs is a renowned British painter who stood out for making paintings alluding to horses.
Stubbs Biography and beginnings
The British painter George Stubbs was born in Liverpool on August 25, 1724 and died in London on July 10, 1806 at 81 years of age.
Painter self-taught and in love with horses and their anatomy. George Stubbs is mainly known for his horse paintings, although this was not the only subject of his works. He also felt a deep passion for equine anatomy as well as for human anatomy. This passion for anatomy influenced the tremendous realism with which he represented horses.
Stubbs was the son of a tanner. The information that is preserved about his life until thirty-three is very dispersed. It i
s found mostly in handwritten notes by a friend artist, Ozias Humphry, at the end of Stubbs’ life.
Stubbs began his artistic training as an apprentice to the painter and engraver Hamlet Winstanley. Soon he was frustrated by Winstanley’s learning method. His method was to copy other works instead of studying and creating.
He found his passion
It is from this moment that he gave free rein to his passion for anatomy and ended up writing in 1766 “The Anatomy of the Horse” after spending a year and a half on a farm in Lincolnshire studying horses.
During his life Stubbs had several patrons who recognized his talent and commissioned many paintings. Some of his greatest patrons were the Duke of Richmond and the Marquis of Rockingham.
Stubbs’ most famous work is “Whistlejacket”, a painting of a wild horse that was enraged and commissioned by the Marquis of Rockingham, along with two other paintings, and whose distinctive feature is funds without any vitality, concentrating attention and energy of the spectator in the vitality of the horse. Currently the paintings are in London at the National Gallery.
Other works of George Stubbs
George also painted other exotic animals, such as lions, tigers, giraffes, monkeys and rhinos, which he observed in private reserves. In turn, he became interested in the subject of a wild horse threatened by a lion, and colored many variations in this area. These and other works became very popular at the time, for the engravings of his work, which emerged in the 1770s and 1780s.
From the end of the 1760s he made some works in enamel. In the 1770s Josiah Wedgwood (a famous English potter and designer) developed a new type of enameled panel at the request of Stubb. Also in the 1770s he drew portraits of isolated dogs for the first time. What attracted numerous commissions of gentlemen who wanted to portray their hunting with dogs. This famous man continued painting until an advanced age.
Finally, Stubbs also made historical paintings, much less appreciated. His son was an engraver and printer. George died in London on July 10, 1806.
Stubbs achieves the perfect representation of the horse anatomically in turn capturing the vital energy of the horses. He managed to transmit all the power and beauty of the animal in its pure essence.