Between 1756 and 1758 Stubbs spent eighteen months on an isolated Lincolnshire farm dissecting horses in order to understand their anatomy. This remarkable experience enabled him to corner the market in sporting pictures among a new generation of patrons who raced and bred horses.
Stubbs's paintings for these clients display not just a command of equine anatomy, but also a sensitivity to the expressions, movements and character of horses that had not previously been seen in British art. However, Stubbs avoided painting horses actually racing. He preferred to elevate them, whether they were active or in repose, to the equivalents of classical statues. This is especially noticeable in his 'Horse and Lion' pictures, which are among the most imaginative and sublime British paintings of the late eighteenth century.
Click on the links below to see some of the paintings from the exhibition.