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George Stubbs, 1724–1806, British

Horse Attacked by a Lion (Episode C)

Former Title(s):

Lion Attacking a Horse

between 1768 and 1769
beeswax and oil on panel
Support (PTG): 10 1/8 × 11 5/8 inches (25.7 × 29.5 cm) and Overall: 15 3/8 × 16 3/4 × 1 7/8 inches (39.1 × 42.5 × 4.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
danger | horse (animal) | light | lion | lions | octagon | panel (wood) | replicas | series (groups) | suffering | violence
On view
IIIF Manifest:

George Stubbs returned repeatedly to the theme of the lion attacking a horse in his early career. The painter Benjamin West owned this small version of the subject until his death in 1820, and it may have been made in preparation for an enamel painting of the exact same composition that Stubbs made in 1769. The enamel version was an experimental picture, typical of Stubbs’s fascination with new techniques and technology, and for which he may have wished to make a detailed model in a more familiar medium. Alternatively, West may have asked for a simple replica of that enamel version after seeing the picture.

Gallery label for A Decade of Gifts and Acquisitions (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-06-01 - 2017-08-13)

In 1769 Stubbs produced his first painting in enamel: a horse attacked by a lion. This work may have been a model for the enamel, Stubbs trying out the composition in oil first. Equally it may have been a simple replica of the enamel commissioned by Benjamin West who owned the painting until his death in 1820.

Gallery label for Connections (Yale Center for British Art, 2011-05-26 - 2011-09-11)

Christie's sale catalogue : Catalogue of the collection of sporting pictures : 11 June 1915, Christie's, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, June 11, 1915, p. 29, Lot 411, Fiche B51 (YCBA)

Malcolm Cormack, George Stubbs in the collection of Paul Mellon, a memorial exhibition , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Conn., 1999, p. 37, no. 18, NJ18 St915 G54 1999 (YCBA) Copy 2 is on Mellopn Shelf

Stephen Deuchar, Sporting art in eighteenth-century England, a social and political history , Yale University Press, New Haven, 1988, pp. 151-3, N8250 D48 (YCBA)

Judy Egerton, British Sporting and Animal Paintings 1655-1867: A Catalogue, The Paul Mellon Collection , Tate Publishing, London, 1978, pp. 72-73, no. 71, ND1383 G7 B75 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Judy Egerton, George Stubbs, 1724-1806, [exhibition] Tate Gallery. , Tate Publishing, London, 1984, p. 97, no. 65, NJ18 St915 E43 (YCBA) +

Judy Egerton, George Stubbs, painter, catalogue raisonne , Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., London, 2007, pp. 296-7, no. 113, NJ18 St915 A12 E44 2007 + (YCBA)

Venetia Morrison, The art of George Stubbs, Wellfleet Press, Seacaucus, N.J., 1989, pp. 109-118, Unnumbered plate, NJ18 St915 M67 1989+ (YCBA)

Robert Michael Neuman, Baroque and Rococo art and architecture, Pearson, Boston, 2013, p. 401, N6415.B3 N48 2013 (YCBA)

Painting in England 1700-1850 from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, The Royal Academy of Arts Winter Exhibition 1964-65., , Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK, 1964, p. 74 (v. 1), no. 263, ND466 R68 1964/65 (YCBA) Also available on Microfiche: Fiche B214 (YCBA)

Painting in England 1700-1850, collection of Mr. & Mrs. Paul Mellon. , Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, 1963, p. 174 (v. 1), no. 334, ND466 V57 v.1-2 (YCBA)

Basil Taylor, George Stubbs:, The Lion and Horse Theme , Burlington Magazine, Vol. 107, No.743, February 1965, pp. 81-87, app. no. 4, N1 B87+ (YCBA) Available online on JSTOR

Yale University Art Gallery, Painting in England, 1700-1850, from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, [exhibition at] Yale University Art Gallery, April 15-June 20, 1965. , vol. 1, W. Clowes and sons, New Haven, 1965, pp. 46-7 (v. 1), no. 175, ND466 Y35 (YCBA)

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