View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
- George Stubbs 1724–1806
- Engraving on paper
- Image: 227 x 314 mm
- Transferred from the British Museum 1984
T03844 A LION RESTING ON A ROCK published 1788
Engraving, mixed method, 8 7/8 × 12 9/16 (227 × 314) on hand-made wove paper 9 3/8 × 12 7/8 (252 × 326)
Writing-engraving below image ‘Painted Engravd & Published by Geo Stubbs 1 May 1788 No 24 Somerset Str Portman Sq London’; on the back, stamped twice by the British Museum (i) on accession, with no.1874-5-9-170; (ii) on transfer, like T03778
Transferred by the Trustees of the British Museum 1984
Prov: ...; purchased by the British Museum from Mr Francis 1874; transferred to the Tate as a duplicate 1984
Lit: Basil Taylor, The Prints of George Stubbs, 1969, no.7, repr. p.35 from another impression; Richard Godfrey, ‘George Stubbs as a Printmaker’, Print Collector's Newsletter, XIII, no.4, 1982, pp.114–15; Judy Egerton, ‘George Stubbs: Two rediscovered enamel paintings’, Burlington Magazine, CXXVIII, 1986, pp.24–7
Engraved after the enamel painting of 1775, now in a private collection, Switzerland (repr. Egerton, p.26, fig. 31). This is the print entitled ‘a Lion’ in Stubbs's print prospectus of 1778 (see T03778), for which the price was 5s.od.
Godfrey considers that ‘Lion Resting on a Rock’ and ‘Recumbent Leopard by a Tree’ (Taylor 6, repr. p.33) ‘represent the transitional stage’ in Stubbs's printmaking ‘between the two early linear prints’ (‘Horse Frightened by a Lion’, Taylor 1, repr. p.23, and ‘Leopards at Play’, Taylor 2, repr. p.25; a 1974 printing of the latter is no. T01986 in the Tate's collection, together with the copperplate, T01985) ‘and the later more elaborately worked-up tonal engravings. The forms are described by minute perambulation of line, but Stubbs was also beginning to realize the value of tools such as roulettes and mezzotint rockers for working up textural effects. He gives the impression of an artist stooped over a copper plate with a small battery of tools beside him, the function of each being diverted to original and unexpected use as it came to hand’.
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986