Finished study for 'The Third Anatomical Table of the Skeleton of the Horse', 1756-1758
George Stubbs ARA (1724 - 1806)
RA Collection: Art
George Stubbs is celebrated for his majestic portraits of individual horses like Whistlejacket (c. 1762; National Gallery, London). Underpinning the power of such works was the artist's unrivalled knowledge of equine physiognomy, honed through the unglamorous and gruelling practice of dissection. Renting a barn in Horkstow, Lincolnshire, Stubbs devoted eighteen months to this study. While putrefying horse carcasses hung from his ceiling on an iron tackle, he meticulously recorded each stage of the dissection.
This immaculate and intricate study is one of a group of eighteen produced to illustrate Stubbs's Anatomy of the Horse (1766), the first book of its kind to be published since the 16th century. Stubbs's fascination with, and mastery of, the horse's internal structure is palpable in each drawing. Here, the oblique view along the spine and through the chest cavity is rendered with all the precision of an architectural design.
354 mm x 180 mm
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