George Stubbs

Art on This Day

The animal painter, George Stubbs, was born on this day in 1724 in Liverpool. He was largely a self-taught artist who started his career painting portraits whilst also developing an interest in anatomy. Stubbs is best known for his depictions of horses and is often credited as the best horse painter. This is largely due to the fact that he studied the anatomy of horses and therefore created extremely accurate paintings. 


However, Stubbs was not always as celebrated as he is now. He was often overlooked as a serious artist because he painted sporting images and was therefore excluded from a full membership of the Royal Academy. One of his most famous artworks, ‘Whistlejacket’, an oil painting of a racing horse on blank background, is on display at the National Gallery. Later on in his career he began to paint scenes of peasant life and scenes of wild and exotic animals.