About this object

This painting and 'Haycarting' (LL 3682), also at the Lady Lever Art Gallery, were originally from a trio of Wedgwood plaques by the British artist George Stubbs (1724-1806). The final plaque, 'Reapers,' is now in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, in the United States.

Stubbs revisited this pastoral theme several times, having originally painted 'Haymakers' as a pair with 'Reapers' in 1783. Both of these canvases are now in the Bearsted Collection, Upton House, National Trust. Two years later he complicated the design to produce the paintings now in the Tate Britain collection. During 1794-5 he reworked the theme in an oval format for the three Wedgwood plaques.

The rural peasant subject matter was extremely fashionable with collectors throughout Europe in the last quarter of the 18th century. Marie Antionette and her ladies played milkmaid at Versailles, Goya included rural sports in tapestry designs for the Spanish crown and Gainsborough painted narratives of peasants at cottage doors. Stubbs's approach was less romantic, portraying a rather matter of fact, albeit reasonably prosperous, farming group at work.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    George Stubbs (British: English, born:1724-08-25, died:1806-07-10)
    Wedgwood (British: English, born:unknown, died:unknown)
  • Date
  • Materials
    Earthenware; Enamel
  • Measurements
    canvas/support: 77 cm x 105 cm; frame: 131 cm x 156.5 cm x 12 cm
  • Physical description
    The artist George Stubbs (1724-1806) wanted to paint in enamel colours, which would not fade once they had been fired. Wedgwood made large tablets for him to paint on but they were technically very difficult to produce. He made this tablet between March 1783 and September 1784, it is the largest size of tablet that Wedgwood ever made. Stubbs did not paint on this tablet until 1795. Enamelled tablets, such as this, were not a success at the time and this tablet remained with Stubbs until his death in 1806.
  • Related people
    George Stubbs (Artist/maker); Wedgwood (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    Accession Number: LL 3683; Out of Use Accession Number: WHL
  • Credit line
    Purchased by William Hesketh Lever in 1915
  • Location
    Lady Lever Art Gallery, Room 03
  • Collection
    From the Lady Lever Art Gallery collections
Object view = Fine Art
Page load time: 453 ms