Stubbs and the Wild
25 June – 2 October 2016
A celebration of the famed animal painter's greatest works.
Stubbs was fascinated not just with how animals looked, but also how they were built. He studied their anatomy tirelessly in order to be able to paint their likenesses with an astute realism that was unlike other artists in the genre.
While it was horses for which he first became known, Stubbs' interests developed as many exotic new mammals began arriving in London from Britain’s expanding colonies. Moose, zebras, yaks and even the remains of a kangaroo were brought home as valuable curiosities and their owners encouraged Stubbs to study and record the animals for posterity.
Although originally intended primarily as zoological studies, Stubbs’ brought the same finesse he did to his portrait painting, and these are now recognised as works of art in their own right.
This exhibition features a selection of these incredibly crafted animal portraits, as well as examples of his grand fantasies, prints and drawings.
Stubbs' painting of a horse being attacked and then devoured by a lion is often seen as his signature work.
Martin Myrone dissects the genius of George Stubbs' scientific approach in the summer edition of Art Quarterly.