George Stubbs: Chronology
Most people would say that George Stubbs was one of the most underrated painters of the eighteenth century in England, and even in Europe. Even though this animal painter used to be put very low on the list of artists, he has managed to rise to the top in the present day. After two hundred years, he is now known as one of the greatest English painters of the eighteenth century. On August 24, 1724, George Stubbs was born in Liverpool, England to a family of curriers and leather sellers, so he grew up with a familiarity to horses. With very little formal instruction, he would draw constantly while he worked in his father’s trade until he was about fifteen or sixteen years old. After his father’s death in 1741, Stubbs began teaching himself methods of painting. As a portrait-painter, he began studying anatomy by dissecting horses and some dogs (Stubbs 12). He had an early curiosity in science and made extensive studies in both human and animal anatomy. He also began teaching anatomy with the surgeon, Charles Atkinson at York Hospital as well as perspective at Health Academy (Warner, Stubbs, and Blake 209). George Stubbs embarked on a journey to Italy on the year of 1754. On his return to England, he began the adventure of studying the horse. He spent two years in Liverpool, painting portraits, depicting ‘various animals’ and occasionally dissecting animals. In 1756, he continued dissecting and began drawing for the book, The Anatomy of the Horse. Stubbs later left his family in 1758 to attempt to become an established artist in London as well as in search for a skilled engraver. He quickly established a reputation as a painter of horses and other wild animals (Stubbs 12). His anatomical drawings attracted the attention of the second marquess of Rockingham and members of his circle, while he also began carrying out commissions for other aristocrats to have their prize-winning horses immortalized through his paintings...
Bibliography: Parker, Constance-Anne. Mr Stubbs the Horse Painter. London: J.A. Allen, 1971. Print.
Stubbs, George. George Stubbs, 1724-1806. London: Tate Gallery, 1984. Print.
Warner, Malcolm, George Stubbs, and Robin Blake. Stubbs & the Horse. New Haven: Yale UP, 2004. Print.
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