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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

George Stubbs (1724-1806), Painter and anatomist

Painter and engraver; b. Liverpool, where he studied under Hamlet Winstanley; portrait painter in Yorkshire 1745-53; in Italy 1754; worked at Horkstow, Lincs., 1756-58, preparing The Anatomy of the Horse (engravings published 1766); settled in London c.1760; exhibited Society of Artists, London, 1762-74, RA 1775-1803; President Society of Artists, London, 1772; ARA 1780, but his election as RA in 1781 was never ratified since he failed to deposit a diploma picture.

‘Mr Stubbs’s habits of life were almost as extraordinary as his intellectual attainments ... He was always a very early riser; and his constitution continued robust to the last ... [he] was remarkably abstemious; eating little food, and drinking only water, for the last 40 years' (Gentleman's Magazine, 1806).

'He weighed 13 stone 12 lbs on 22 December 1782, according to Joseph Banks’s scales' (J. Egerton, Stubbs, anatomist and painter, 1976).

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.