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Creator:
George Stubbs, 1724–1806, British
Title:

Reapers

Date:
1795
Medium:
Enamel on Wedgwood biscuit earthenware
Dimensions:
30 1/4 x 40 1/2 inches (76.8 x 102.9 cm) and 50 3/4 × 60 1/2 inches (128.9 × 153.7 cm)
Inscription(s)/Marks/Lettering:

Signed and dated, lower right: "Geo : stubbs pinx | 1795"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1981.25.618
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
agriculture | apron (main garment) | bonnet | breeches | buckles | casks | church | dog (animal) | farming | farmland | fields | gathering | genre subject | harvest | hats | hay | headpiece | horses (animals) | labor | landscape | men | oval | pitchers | reapers | riding boots | rural | rural areas | shawls | steeple | stockings | town | waistcoat | wheat | woman | work
Access:
On view in the galleries
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:1082
Export:
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IIIF Manifest:
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By experimenting with the unusual technique of applying enamel to earthenware, then firing it to produce a finished ceramic plaque, George Stubbs hoped to make paintings for the ages, as durable as stone. These plaques were part of a collaboration with the master potter Josiah Wedgwood, who jokingly referred to himself as Stubbs’s “canvas maker.” This scene of wheat harvesting, which Stubbs developed in earlier oil paintings, shows his taste for orderly, relief-like composition. Reapers also gives an idealized view of agricultural labor in a period when farm workers experienced widespread poverty and hardship. The three men and one woman who cut and gather the wheat are neatly—even fashionably—dressed, and their movements are graceful and seemingly effortless. The presence of the church in the background brings to mind the Christian associations of the harvest and the old Latin proverb “laborare est orare” (to work is to pray—and vice versa).

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2022



By experimenting with the unusual technique of applying enamel to earthenware, then firing it to produce a finished ceramic plaque, George Stubbs hoped to make paintings for the ages, as durable as stone. These plaques were part of a collaboration with the master potter Josiah Wedgwood, who jokingly referred to himself as Stubbs’s “canvas maker.” This scene of wheat harvesting, which Stubbs developed in earlier oil paintings, shows his taste for orderly, relief-like composition. Reapers also gives an idealized view of agricultural labor in a period when farm workers experienced widespread poverty and hardship. The three men and one woman who cut and gather the wheat are neatly—even fashionably—dressed, and their movements are graceful and seemingly effortless. The presence of the church in the background brings to mind the Christian associations of the harvest and the old Latin proverb “laborare est orare” (to work is to pray—and vice versa).

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Yale University Art Gallery 2015-2016 (Yale University Art Gallery, 2015-02-01 - 2016-01-05) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

George Stubbs in the Collection of Paul Mellon: a Memorial Exhibition (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2000-02-14 - 2000-05-15) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

George Stubbs in the Collection of Paul Mellon: a Memorial Exhibition (Yale Center for British Art, 1999-04-30 - 1999-09-05) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Stubbs - An Exhibition in Honor of Paul Mellon (National Gallery of Art, 1985-04-11 - 1985-05-04) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

George Stubbs (1724-1806) Tate Gallery (Yale Center for British Art, 1985-02-13 - 1985-04-07) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

George Stubbs (1724-1806) Tate Gallery (Tate Britain, 1984-10-17 - 1985-01-06) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

John Baskett, Painting in England: 1700-1850: the Collection of English paintings formed by Mr and Mrs Paul Mellon : on Exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, until August 18th, , Connoisseur, Vol. 153, London, June 1963, p. 102, N1 C75 + (YCBA) [YCBA]

Geoffrey W. Beard, The compleat gentleman, five centuries of aristocratic life , Rizzoli, New York, 1992, p. 111, HT653 G7 B415 1992 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Cormack, A Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 220-221, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Cormack, George Stubbs in the collection of Paul Mellon, a memorial exhibition , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Conn., 1999, pp. 12, 84, no. 66, NJ18 St915 G54 1999 (YCBA) Copy 2 is on Mellopn Shelf [YCBA]

Rosika Desnoyers, Pictorial embroidery in England: a Critical History of Needlepainting and Berlin Work, Bloomsbury Visual Arts, London, p. 49, fig. 2.3, TT778.C3 D47 2019 (LC) (YCBA) [YCBA]

Judy Egerton, British Sporting and Animal Paintings 1655-1867: A Catalogue, The Paul Mellon Collection , Tate Publishing, London, 1978, pp. 96-8, no. 95, ND1383 G7 B75 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Judy Egerton, George Stubbs, 1724-1806, [exhibition] Tate Gallery. , Tate Publishing, London, 1984, p. 169, no. 126, NJ18 St915 E43 (YCBA) + [YCBA]

Judy Egerton, George Stubbs, painter, catalogue raisonne , Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., London, 2007, pp. 562, 564-5, no. 326, NJ18 St915 A12 E44 2007 + (YCBA) [YCBA]

Judy Egerton, Stubbs, portraits in detail, Tate Publishing, London, 1984, pp. 40-3, NJ18 St915 E45 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Robin Emmerson, Stubbs and Wedgewood: New Evidence from the Oven Books, Apollo, Vol. 150 No.450, August 1999, p. 55, fig. 8, N1 A54 + (YCBA) [YCBA]

Catherine M. Gordon, British paintings Hogarth to Turner, Frederick Warne, London, 1981, p. 62, ND466 G67 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Matthew Hargraves, "Yale Center for British Art joins Art UK", ArtUK, 24 June 2019, Available online https://artuk.org/discover/stories/yale-center-for-british-art-joins-art-uk [Website]

Luke Herrmann, British landscape painting of the eighteenth century., Faber & Faber, London, 1973, p. 109, pl. 104b, ND1354.4 H47 1973 + (YCBA) [YCBA]

Alex Kidson, Earlier British paintings in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, Merseyside, 1999, p. 163, no. 12, ND466 K53 1999 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Charlotte Klonk, Prospects for the Nation, recent essays in British landscape, 1750-1880 , Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, ca. 1997, pp. 40-51, fig. 14, ND1354.4 P76 1997 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Julia Marciari-Alexander, This other Eden, paintings from the Yale Center for British Art , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1998, pp. 4, 16, fig. 4, ND1314.3 Y36 1998 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Frank Milner, George Stubbs, paintings, ceramics, prints & documents in Merseyside collections : Walker Art Gallery, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool City Libraries , National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, England, 1987, p. 22, NJ18 St915 M55 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Venetia Morrison, The art of George Stubbs, Wellfleet Press, Seacaucus, N.J., 1989, p. 137, NJ18 St915 M67 1989+ (YCBA) [YCBA]

Painting in England 1700-1850, collection of Mr. & Mrs. Paul Mellon. , Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, 1963, p. 172 (v.1), no. 327, pl. 183, ND466 V57 v.1-2 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Paul Mellon's Legacy, a passion for British art. [large print labels] , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v.3, N5220 M552 +P381 2007, Mellon Shelf (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ronald Paulson, Breaking and remaking, aesthetic practice in England, 1700-1820 , Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, 1989, p. 314, no. 47, BH221 G72 P38 1989 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Christiana Payne, Toil and plenty, images of the agricultural landscape in England, 1780-1890 , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1993, pp. 81-4, no. 4, pl. 2, ND1354.4 P39 1993 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Sotheby's sale catalogue : Catalogue of Fine Old Master Paintings and Drawings : 18 November 1959, Sotheby's, London, November 18, 1959, p. 19, lot no. 43, Auction Catalogues (YCBA)

Stubbs, an exhibition in honor of Paul Mellon : National Gallery of Art, 4 May-2 June 1985. , National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1985, no. 2, V 0413 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Bruce Tattersall, Stubbs & Wedgwood, unique alliance between artist and potter , Tate Publishing, [London] Paris :Distributed by Idea Books, 1974, pp. 106-7, NJ18 St915 T37 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Warner, George Stubbs, his patrons and collectors , Magazine Antiques, vol. 166, no. 6, December 2004, p. 70, V 1629 (YCBA) Available Online (Orbis). [YCBA]

Malcolm Warner, Stubbs & the Horse, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2004, p. 128, fig. 117, NJ18 St915 W37 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Richard Wendorf, After Sir Joshua, essays on British art and cultural history , Vol. 15, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT & London, UK, 2005, pp.114,129,145, no. 41, N6767 W46 2005 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Whitechapel Art Gallery, George Stubbs, 1724-1806., Catalogue of an exhibition of paintings, drawings and engravings held at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, from 27th February--7th April, 1957. , London, 1957, p. 21, no. 47, NJ18 St915 T36 1957 (YCBA) [YCBA]


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