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George Stubbs, 1724–1806, British

Newmarket Heath, with the King's stables rubbing house at the finish of the Beacon Course

Former Title(s):

Newmarket Heath, with a Rubbing-down House

Rubbing-down House; Newmarket

Views of the Rubbing Houses at Newmarket

The Rubbing-down House, Newmarket

ca. 1765
Oil on canvas
Support (PTG): 12 x 16 inches (30.5 x 40.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
architectural subject | building | field | horse barns | house | landscape | race (event) | racecourse | rural | sky | sports | storage | storeroom | studies (visual works)
Associated Places:
England | Europe | Newmarket | Suffolk | United Kingdom
On view

Rubbing-down houses were storerooms for grooming equipment, at which stable-lads would rub horses down with cloths and straw after races or exercises. The present work is one of a pair of studies of the same rubbing-down house from different viewpoints; the other is now in the Tate Collection, London. Stubbs seems to have made them in preparation for the backgrounds to portraits of the famous horse Gimcrack, although he clearly used them again in other racehorse portraits with a Newmarket setting. “Not only are they delightful in themselves, extremely rare as examples of the painter and a clue to his method of working,” Paul Mellon’s friend and art adviser Basil Taylor wrote to him in a letter of 2 January 1961, “but I know no English landscapes quite like them in their naturalism before the lifetime of Constable.”

Malcolm Warner

Warner, Malcolm and John Baskett. The Paul Mellon Bequest : treasures of a lifetime. New Haven : Yale Center for British Art, 2001, p. 78

Geoffrey Agnew, Yale's 1700 Mellon Pictures, The Times (London), issue no. 59989, Thursday, April 28, 1977, p. 9, Available Online : Times Digital Archive Also available on Microfilm : Film An T842 (SML)

Catalogue : 25 October 1957, Christie's, London, October 25, 1957, p. 25, lot 156, Fiche B51 (YCBA)

Judy Egerton, British Sporting and Animal Paintings 1655-1867: A Catalogue, The Paul Mellon Collection , Tate Publishing, London, 1978, pp. 77-78, no. 76, pl. 29, ND1383 G7 B75 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Elizabeth Einberg, The age of Hogarth, British painters born 1675-1709 , vol. 2, Tate Gallery, London, 1988, p. 162, ND466 T38 1988 + OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Catherine M. Gordon, British paintings Hogarth to Turner, Frederick Warne, London, 1981, p. 62, ND466 G67 (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. 42 (v.1), No. 153, pl. 55, 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. 167 (v.1), no. 318, pl. 176, ND466 V57 v.1-2 (YCBA)

Graham Reynolds, Posing on Four Legs, TLS, the Times Literary Supplement, Issue No. 4072, April 17, 1981, p. 445, Film S748 (SML) Also Available OnLine in TLS Historical Archive (ORBIS)

Roberta Smith, Horses, Hounds and Men, at Work and at Play, New York Times, August 7, 2015, p. C22, Available online : Proquest .com/nytimes

Basil Taylor, Stubbs, Phaidon, London, 1975, pp. 42, 208, pl. 33, NJ18 St915 T39 1975 (YCBA) +

Malcolm Warner, The Paul Mellon Bequest : treasures of a lifetime, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2001, p. 78, N5247 M385 P28 2001 (YCBA)

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, p. 45 (v.1), no. 171, pl. 55, ND466 Y35 (YCBA)

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