Gnawpost and Two Other Colts

WAG 2390


Gnawpost was a colt owned by Jenison Shafto whose name derived from his habit, depicted here by Stubbs, of twisting his head to gnaw at trees and fence-posts. Stubbs painted two versions of this portrait of the horse with his companions: the original at the end of the 1760s, and a replica in the mid-1790s for his ambitious and eventually abortive Review of the Turf. This (despite the ‘false’ date inscribed on the canvas by Stubbs, referring to the date of the original), is certainly the second version; for a watercolour by the artist’s son George Townley Stubbs, done in connection with the intended Review of the Turf engraving, clearly follows this version rather than the other.