Tate Britain Collection Display Rooms
21 August 2006 – 14 January 2007
A BP British Art Display of George Stubbs (1724–1806), one of Britain’s greatest painters, will open at Tate Britain on 21 August 2006. Marking the bicentenary of his death, Stubbs: A Celebration brings together some of the artist’s finest paintings presenting the quality and range of his output as a painter of animals, rural life and portraits.
Long admired for his paintings of horses, Stubbs’ art reflects an age of innovation and change in British culture. His technical experiments with enamel and painting on Wedgwood ceramic plaques and his precise depictions of ‘exotic’ animals imported from abroad reflect an inquiring mind and a passionate commitment to the craft of painting. The display will draw attention to his treatment of a range of domestic and exotic animals, his acute approach to portraiture, his technical daring and his enduring images of the British countryside.
The display will comprise of around twenty-five works, drawn from the exceptional collections of the Tate and the National Museums Liverpool, with important loans from a number of public and private collections. Major exhibits include the Tate’s Mares and Foals in a River Landscape (c.1763–5) and Horse Attacked by a Lion (1763), and from the National Museums, Liverpool, the Self-portrait on a White Horse (1782) and The Lincolnshire Ox (1790).
Brought together for the first time in the display will be Tate’s Haymakers and Reapers (1785), painted in oils on panel, with the rare later enamels, Haymakers and Haycarting (1794 and 1795) from the National Museums, Liverpool. Together, the works will show how Stubbs returned to and reworked this important rural theme in different media. Additional loans include the Five Hounds in a River Landscape (1762), lent by the Trustees of Rt Hon. Olive, Countess Fitzwilliam’s Chattels Settlement, by permission of Lady Juliet Tadgell, the unique Soldiers of the Tenth Light Dragoons (1793) from the Royal Collection, and the extraordinary A Cheetah and Stag (1765), lent by Manchester Art Gallery.
The Tate and National Museums Liverpool are the two greatest British collections of Stubbs’ work. The display has been made possible by the close collaboration between these two institutions, as well as the Frick Collection, New York. The display will travel to the Frick Collection in 2007, the first time that a museum exhibition of Stubbs’ works will be seen in New York.
Stubbs: A Celebration is curated by Alex Kidson, Curator of British Art at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. It is supported by BP as part of its sponsorship of the BP British Art Displays. BP has supported Collection Displays at Millbank since 1991, first at the Tate Gallery and then from the opening of Tate Britain in 2000 to the present. BP’s continued support allows Tate Britain to create a broad and dynamic displays programme which explores in depth British art from 1500 to the present.
A broadsheet to accompany the display, Stubbs: A Celebration by Alex Kidson has been produced by Tate Publishing, priced £2.50.