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George Stubbs ARA, Finished study for 'The Third Anatomical Table of the Skeleton of the Horse'

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.

Object details

Title
Finished study for 'The Third Anatomical Table of the Skeleton of the Horse'
Artist/designer
George Stubbs ARA (1724 - 1806)
Date
1756-1758
Object type
Drawing
Medium
Pencil
Dimensions

354 mm x 180 mm

Collection
Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
03/5718
Acquisition
Bequeathed by Charles Landseer RA 1879
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