George Stubbs1724 - 1806
Born: August 25, 1724, Liverpool, England
Died: July 10, 1806
George Stubbs is primarily thought of as a self-taught artist. However, at age 15, he was briefly apprenticed to painter Hamlet Winstanley. In 1745, Stubbs moved to York and made a career as a portrait painter. His interest in animals led him to study anatomy at York Hospital. After traveling to Rome, in 1754, Stubbs began an extensive study of horse anatomy. He stripped away tissue and muscles, making detailed sketches of each layer. He studied the musculature in various positions and illustrated The Anatomy of a Horse, published in 1756. By the 1760s, Stubbs had developed a considerable reputation as a painter who specialized in hunting and shooting scenes and had attracted a number of distinguished patrons. In the 1780s, he began experimenting with enamels and printmaking, learning mezzotint, soft ground, and etching techniques.
Stubbs was elected Director of the Society of Artists in 1766, an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1780, and a Royal Academician in 1781. His work is recognized in many private collections and museums, including the National Gallery of Art, the British Museum, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Tate Gallery, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art.