George Stubbs, Painter Catalogue Raisonne Judy Egerton

Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Publication date:
12 Oct 2007
700 pages: 330 x 246 x 53mm
30 b&w illustrations, 485 colour images

George Stubbs (1724-1806) is now rightly recognised as one of the greatest and most original artists of the eighteenth century. His profound understanding of anatomy and his uncanny ability to translate the study of nature into remarkably balanced compositions mark him out from other practitioners in the field of animal painting. His most frequent commissions were for paintings of horses, dogs and wild animals, but awareness that such subjects were rated low in the artistic hierarchy did not deter him, throughout a resolute and hard-working career, from producing images that invariably arrest attention and frequently strike a deeply poetic note. Stubbs did not emerge as a painter until he was in his mid-thirties and had moved to London, but in the 1760s his genius flowered astonishingly, prolifically and diversely, and his reputation was first established among noblemen devoted to racing and breeding horses. More than any other painter he steadily and uningratiatingly celebrates English sporting and country life and reveals himself, as in his 'incidental' portraits of jockeys and grooms, as a most perceptive observer of different levels of social behaviour. Throughout his career, Stubbs constantly experimented with technique and in the late 1760s he began chemical experiments with painting in enamels, first on copper and later on earthenware 'tablets', manufactured for him in Wedgwood's potteries, although these fascinating works never found public favour. In preparation for many years, this is the first full catalogue of Stubbs' paintings and drawings. The full catalogue entries are preceded by a lengthy study of Stubbs' art and career that sets his work in context.

Judy Egerton is the leading authority on Stubbs and worked at both the Tate and National Gallery. This catalogue was researched and written during her tenure as Senior Research Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art from 1998-2006.

' of the most handsome books in the current crop, and its authoritative introduction and commentaries are brilliant.' - Frank Whitford, Sunday Times

'When you see the portraits shown so perfectly in this truly gorgeous book you begin to be aware of Stubb's great genius.' - Richard Edmonds, Birmingham Post

'This book contains a vast amount about one of the most innovative artists who ever lived, and is a delight to consult and handle. It is a most welcome addition to anyone's art library.' - Paul Johnson, Literary Review

'... Egerton... effortlessly combines awesome scholarly authority with... a far rarer commodity-wit.' - David Ekserdjian, The Spectator

'... This is the scrupulous heavyweight scholarship that Stubbs deserves.' - The Evening Standard

'... the sheer beauty of Stubbs's work, coupled with Judy Egerton's correspondingly lucid presentation makes it a pleasure to consult ... this sumptous volume.' Andrew Wilton, Apollo

'...visually comprehensive and fabulously illustrated ... an essential book to have if you like Stubbs.' Simon Grant, Tate Etc (online)