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This shows one of the rubbing-down houses on Newmarket Heath racecourse, where the sweating horses were dried, or 'rubbed-down', after exercise. Only one other pure landscape by Stubbs, a view of the same rubbing-down house from a different angle, survives. Both were frequently referred to by him when painting the backgrounds for his portraits of famous racehorses. His studio sale included many items under the heading 'Drawings, Drawing Books, Studies from Nature, Sketches, &c.' It is not known, however, whether a study such as this was made outdoors or painted from a preliminary drawing.

August 2004