Haymakers & Reapers by George Stubbs

These beautiful paintings, executed by Stubbs at the age of sixty, are among the most outstanding paintings by the English school.


Oil on wood
90 x 137 cm
Art Fund grant:
£20,000 ( Total: £771,000)
Acquired in:
Major John Lycett Wills

The peasant figures are unglamorised in their toil, giving a foretaste of the realism that was to be adopted by Stubbs's followers and imitators. Gainsborough, his contemporary, was still painting romantically-idealized pastoral scenes at that period. This purchase was the result of a dramatic campaign to 'save' a work of art for the nation. A public appeal was launched and Tate started a series of lotteries, permissible under the new regulations on fund raising. The Tate was the first public gallery to raise money in this way.


Major John Lycett Wills