We use cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookies policy.

No I. (-III) Of A Comparative Anatomical Exposition Of The Structure Of The Human Body, With That Of A Tiger And Common Fowl; In Thirty Tables, Two Copper-Plates To Each Table, 20 Inches By 15; Forming Six Numbers - Ten Plates To Each Number. The Whole Executed By George Stubbs, Author Of "The Anatomy Of The Horse." Conditions ... [6 lines]

George Stubbs ARA author draughtsman engraver publisher

RA Collection: Book

Record number

03/1654

Author

George Stubbs ARA, author, draughtsman, engraver, publisher

Uniform Title

[Comparative anatomical exposition of the structure of the human body with that of a tiger and a common fowl.]

Imprint

London:: Printed For The Author, By W. And C. Spilsbury, Snowhill; And sold by J. White, Fleet-Street, and Longman and Rees, Paternoster-Row. At Mr. Stubbs's May Also Be Had The Following Prints ... [7 lines], [1803?-ca. 1806]

Physical Description

3 Numbers; 593 mm. (Broadsheet).

General Note

No.I: p. 1-44, pl. I-V [i.e. 10 pl.]. There are bis pl. I-V. - No.II: p. 45-148, pl. VI-X [i.e. 10 pl.]. There are bis pl. VI-X. The bis pl. VII is misnumbered VIII; the bis pl. VIII is misnumbered VII. - No. III: p. 149-289, pl. XI-XV [i.e. 10 pl.]. There are bis pl. XI-XV. - For all three Numbers the letter-press and the plates were issued separately only (and copies of the letter-press are rarely found).

Responsibility Note

No plate is signed. The letter-press of Number III states that it was printed by J. Nichols & Son.

References

M. Cazort., The ingenious machine of nature: four centuries of art and anatomy [exhibition catalogue] (1996), p. 223-4; K.B. Roberts and J.D.W. Tomlinson, The fabric of the body: European traditions of anatomical illustration (1992), p. 512-8; C. Lennox-Boyd, George Stubbs: the complete engraved works (1989), p.313-333; J. Egerton, George Stubbs, 1724-1806 [exhibition catalogue] (1984); J. Egerton, George Stubbs: anatomist and animal painter [exhibition catalogue] (1976); T. Doherty, The anatomical works of George Stubbs (London, 1974; Boston, 1975); Whitechapel Art Gallery (London), George Stubbs, 1724-1806 [exhibition catalogue, with bibliographic intro.] (1957).

Summary Note

Although Stubbs originally conceived of his Comparative anatomical exposition as early as 1765 he did not begin serious work on it until 1795, when he was seventy-one. The Academy's Council 'unanimously resolved' to subscribe on 19 July 1802 on the basis of 'the well-known Abilities of the Author, & the recommendations of Gentlemen present, who had seen the Work.' (RA Council Minutes III, 151-52). Stubbs was paid 3 guineas in advance for the first number (RA Treasurer's Account Book, 'Abstract of Bills', Midsummer Quarter, 1802) and another 3 guineas for his second number a year later (this was probably at the time the first number was delivered to the subscribers since William Upcott recorded that this had just appeared when he visited Stubbs in late August 1803). The third and final number seems to have followed at around the time of Stubbs's death in 1806. (Although the Academy had paid 3 guineas for this in advance, there is no evidence that it was ever received.) Numbers IV-VI of Stubbs's Comparative anatomy were never published, as only the first thirty plates of the work were completed at the time of his death. The letter-press explanation of the plates was printed for binding up in a separate quarto volume. However, when the printseller Edward Orme reprinted the latter in 1817 he is said to have been unable to obtain a copy of Stubbs's original text and had to resort instead to printing a translation of a French manuscript found amongt his papers. Copies of Stubbs's original text are held in the libraries of the Royal College of Surgeons and the Natural History Museum in London; the Academy's example was already marked as missing in the Secretary's copy of the 1821 printed Library catalogue. For these plates Stubbs employed stipple- rather than line-engraving, which well reproduces the careful shading of his finished drawings. The drawings themselves are preserved at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Provenance

19 July 1802: '"A Comparative Anatomical Exposition of the Structure of the Human Body, with that of a Tyger, and a common Fowl, &c. &c." From the well known Abilities of the Author, and the recommendations of Gentlemen present, who had seen the Work, it was unanimously Resolved that the Royal Academy do subscribe, to be deposited in their Library.' (RA Council Minutes III, 151-52). Between 24 June and 29 September 1802: 'Paid George Stubbs Esq.re for N.o One of his Comparative Anatomy £3.3.0' (Royal Academy Account Book, 'Abstract of Bills ... Midsummer to Michaelmas 1802'). Between 24 June and 29 September 1803: 'Paid G: Stubbs Esq.re for 1 Subscription for N.o Two of his Comparative Anatomy £3.3.0' (Royal Academy Account Book, 'Abstract of Bills ... Midsummer to Michaelmas 1803'). Between 24 June and 29 September 1804: 'Paid George Stubbs Esq.r for the Continuation of his Comparative Anatomy £3.3.0' (Royal Academy Account Book, 'Abstract of Bills ... Midsummer to Michaelmas 1804'). Between 29 September and 25 December 1805: 'Paid George Stubbs Esq.r Subscription in advance for the Fourth Number of his Comparative Anatomy £3.3.0 (Royal Academy Account Book, 'Abstract of Bills ... Michaelmas to Christmas 1805'). Though paid for in advance there is no evidence that the 'fourth' (in fact the third and final) number was ever received by the Academy. The 'Continuation' paid for in 1804 was probably that of Stubbs's accompanying text. Though recorded in the 1821 RA Library catalogue (as 'Stubbs's Comparative Anatomy explained, 4to.'), the Academy's copy of Stubbs's excessively rare text volume seems to have already disappeared by the time the next printed Library catalogue was compiled in 1841.

Copy Note

Imperfect; the Royal Academy's set lacks Number III altogether, and has only the plates of Numbers I, II. Its Nos. I and II are bound together.

Binding Note

19th-century half morocco, red paper-covered boards; spine lettered 'Comparative Anatomy - George Stubbs' and 'R.A.'

Subject

Anatomy - Animals - Tigers - Poultry - Chickens - Birds
Pictorial works - Stipple engravings - Great Britain - 19th century

Contributors

William Spilsbury, printer
Charles Spilsbury, printer
John White, bookseller
Thomas Norton Longman, bookseller
Owen Rees, bookseller
Longman and Rees (London), bookseller

Images from this book

11 results