George Stubbs ARA (1724-1803)

The great horse painter studied anatomy as well as painting, and his dissections of horses were the basis of his monumental book The Anatomy of the Horse - Landseer purchased the original engraving plates after Stubbs’s death. He became ARA in 1780, and although the Academy elected him RA the following year, King George III refused to sign his diploma because of his ‘democratic opinions’. His most important pictures include Mares and Foals, and Horse Frightened by a Lion. Lions were first introduced into Stubbs’s pictures in 1768, when he had his first opportunity to paint one from life - the same beast was used in various of his pictures. He is credited as being the first British animal painter to depict animals as they really appeared.

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