George Stubbs
Bay Hunter by a Lake 1787

Artwork details

George Stubbs 1724–1806
Bay Hunter by a Lake
Date 1787
Medium Oil paint on oak
Dimensions Support: 905 x 1372 mm
Acquisition Presented by Paul Mellon through the British Sporting Art Trust 1979
Not on display


The bay horse has not been identified, although the picture is believed to have been painted for Arthur Annesley, 9th Viscount Valentia (died 1816). The horse's ears are cropped in accordance with contemporary fashion. The animal is placed in a landscape of mallow and dock, which grow in the shade of a clump of trees in the foreground on the right. In the background are a lake on the left, and a church and village on the far shore. Basil Taylor (p.214) notes that the background in this work is characteristic of Stubbs's landscape during the following decade.

Stubbs's earlier works usually depicted horses with a groom, jockey or owner, whereas in his later pictures, such as this one, the animals were more often shown in solitude.

Further reading:
Basil Taylor, Stubbs, London 1971, p.214, reproduced pl.121
Judy Egerton, British Sporting and Animal Paintings 1655-1867, London 1978, p.96

Terry Riggs
December 1997