STUBBS, George
(b. 1724, Liverpool, d. 1806, London)


Oil on canvas, 325 x 259 cm
Private collection

The great growth of interest in the natural sciences in the latter part of the eighteenth century stimulated the production of pictorial publications. Illustration often played a central part in such works, particularly since these sciences were at a stage when direct observation could lead to new discoveries. As well as being commissioned to make illustrations, there were many artists who were themselves amateur naturalists and who used their observational skills to publish scientific studies of great visual beauty. Many of these have remained unsurpassed on a scientific as well as an aesthetic level. The work of the great English animal painter Stubbs is an example of this. His Anatomy of the Horse remains the standard work of the subject.