George Stubbs (Liverpool 1724-1806 London) A dark bay thoroughbred in a landscape 101.7 x 127 cm. (40 x 50 in.)

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Lot 57
George Stubbs (Liverpool 1724-1806 London) A dark bay thoroughbred in a landscape 101.7 x 127 cm. (40 x 50 in.)

Sold for £ 1,931,650 (US$ 2,414,836) inc. premium
George Stubbs (Liverpool 1724-1806 London)
oil on canvas

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Collection of the Dukes of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, 1862
    Probably sold by the Eighth Duke of Marlborough in 1886
    Purchased by Agnew's, London from E. Spielman, Ltd., along with another painting by Stubbs, 6th July 1951
    Both pictures sold to Scott and Fowles, 20th December, 1951
    Purchased by Agnew's, London, from Wildenstein, December 1956
    Purchased by the present owner's family from Agnew's, London, 26th April, 1957 (£4,500) and thence by descent

    LITERATURE:
    George Scharf, Catalogue raisonné of the works of art at Blenheim Palace, 1862
    Country Life, April 1957

    Stylistically the present painting may be dated to the period between 1762 and 1768 when Stubbs was not in the habit of signing all his works. The masterly way in which the horse is rendered, the handling of the trees and foliage and the delicate, aqueous light that pervades the landscape may be compared, for example, to The Marquess of Rockingham's Scrub, with John Singleton up of 1762 (canvas 40 x 50 in., from the Fitzwilliam Collection); Lustre held by a groom of circa 1760-62, (canvas, 40 1/8 x 50 in., Paul Mellon Collection) and The Duke of Dorset's Hunter with a groom and a dog, which is dated 1768 (canvas, 40 x 49 3/4 in., Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).

    While the impressive size would suggest that this was an important commission for the artist, the first known reference to this work appears to be in George Scharf's 1862 inventory of the paintings at Blenheim Palace, where 'A brown horse, turned to the left, painted by G Stubbs' is recorded as having hung in the Upper East Corridor, part of the Dukes' private appartments. It most likely left Blenheim in 1886, when the Eighth Duke sold off a part of the collection, including many paintings.
George Stubbs (Liverpool 1724-1806 London) A dark bay thoroughbred in a landscape 101.7 x 127 cm. (40 x 50 in.)
George Stubbs (Liverpool 1724-1806 London) A dark bay thoroughbred in a landscape 101.7 x 127 cm. (40 x 50 in.)
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