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

Pumpkin with a Stable-lad

Former Title(s):

A Hunter in a landscape, with bay, groom in crimson coat with sieve

Portrait of the Racehorse, Pumpkin

Date:
1774
Medium:
beeswax and oil on panel
Dimensions:
Support (PTG): 32 3/8 × 39 7/8 inches (82.2 × 101.3 cm)
Inscription(s)/Marks/Lettering:

Signed and dated, lower right: "Geo: Stubbs pinxit | 1774"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B2001.2.69
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
animal art | autumn | boy | breeches | buckles | child | clouds | coat | fence | grasses | horse (animal) | lake | landscape | leisure | morning | sky | stockings | trees
Access:
On view in the galleries
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:21169
Export:
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IIIF Manifest:
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This was the first painting purchased by Paul Mellon, the founder of the Yale Center for British Art. He and his first wife, Mary, bought it in 1936 from Knoedler’s in New York City. “It was my very first purchase of a painting,” he later recalled, “and could be said to be the impetus toward my later, some might say gluttonous, forays into the sporting art field.” Pumpkin’s owner was the Honorable Thomas Foley, later second Baron Foley, who commissioned this portrait of his champion horse. In twenty-four starts, Pumpkin won sixteen races (many of them at Newmarket) worth 6,090 guineas, and nine hogsheads of claret. In 1772, in his first race, Pumpkin beat the favorite, Denmark, by half a neck. It was thought to be one of the finest races ever run on English turf.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016



This was the first painting purchased by the founder of the Yale Center for British Art, the late Paul Mellon. He and his first wife, Mary, bought it in 1936 from Knoedler’s, the firm of art dealers in London. “It was my very first purchase of a painting,” he later recalled, “and could be said to be the impetus toward my later, some might say gluttonous, forays into the sporting art field.” Pumpkin remained until the end of his life one of Paul Mellon’s favorite paintings. By Matchem out of Old Squirt Mare, Pumpkin was a champion. In twenty-four starts he won sixteen races, many of them at Newmarket, worth 6,090 guineas, and nine hogsheads of claret. In 1772, in his first race, Pumpkin beat the favorite, Denmark, by half a neck. It was thought to be one of the finest races ever run on English turf. Pumpkin’s owner was the Hon. Thomas Foley, later 2nd Baron Foley, who commissioned Stubbs’s portrait.

Gallery label for An American's Passion for British Art - Paul Mellon's Legacy (Yale Center for British Art, 2007-04-18 - 2007-07-29)



This was the first painting purchased by the founder of the Yale Center for British Art, the late Paul Mellon. He and his first wife, Mary, bought it in 1936 from Knoedler's, the firm of art dealers in London. "It was my very first purchase of a painting," he later recalled, "and could be said to be the impetus toward my later, some might say gluttonous, forays into the sporting art field." Pumpkin remained until the end of his life one of Paul Mellon's favorite paintings. By Matchem out of Old Squirt Mare, Pumpkin was a champion. In twenty-four starts he won sixteen races, many of them at Newmarket, worth 6,090 guineas, and nine hogsheads of claret. In 1772, in his first race, Pumpkin beat the favorite, Denmark, by half a neck. It was thought to be one of the finest races ever run on English turf. Pumpkin's owner was the Hon. Thomas Foley, later 2nd Baron Foley, who commissioned Stubbs's portrait.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2005
This was the first British painting purchased by Mr. Mellon and his first wife, Mary. They bought it together in 1936 from Knoedler’s in New York City. “It was my very first purchase of a painting,” Mr. Mellon recalled later, “and could be said to be the impetus toward my later, some might say gluttonous, forays into the sporting art field” (Mellon, 1992, pp. 280–81). Until the end of Paul Mellon’s life, “Pumpkin” remained one of his favorite paintings.

By Match’em out of Old Squirt Mare, the chestnut Pumpkin was foaled in 1769. In twenty-four starts he won sixteen races, many of them at Newmarket, altogether worth 6,090 guineas and nine hogsheads of claret. In 1772, in his first race, Pumpkin beat the favorite, Denmark, by half a neck. It was thought to be one of the finest races ever run on English turf. He went on to win a long series of matches in the subsequent three seasons. Pumpkin's owner was the 2nd Baron Foley, who commissioned Stubbs’s portrait. Lord Foley was a member of the Jockey Club, a racing crony of Charles James Fox, and the Presbyterian heir to an iron and coal fortune.

Stubbs’s rendition of the stable lad, who is presumably about nine or ten years old, is exquisitely sensitive, conveying seriousness and responsibility as much as boyish charm: he holds a sieve, from which he feeds his charge. Stubbs painted three other portraits of Pumpkin, each with the jockey William South in Foley's blue-and-white racing colors (at Ascott House [National Trust]; with H.M. the Queen; and with the Earl of Halifax), but the warmth of the stable lad’s rose-red jacket and the unusual glimpse of white paling fence beyond the dip in the middle distance are typical of Stubbs’s supremely inventive approach to the composition and coloring of his portraits of thoroughbred racehorses.



Angus Trumble

John Baskett, Paul Mellon's legacy: a passion for British art : masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, pp. 2, 253, no. 25, fig. 2, pl. 25, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)



By Matchem out of Old Squirt Mare, Pumpkin won a number of races at Newmarket in the years 1772 to 1775. His owner was Thomas Foley, later 1st Baron Foley, who commissioned Stubbs's portrait.This was the first painting Paul Mellon purchased, long before he began collecting seriously and on a large scale. He and his first wife Mary bought it from Knoedler's in London in 1936. "We both were bowled over by the charming horse, the young boy in a cherry-colored jacket, and the beautiful landscape background," he later recalled. "The price was five thousand dollars, and I bought it immediately. It was my very first purchase of a painting and could be said to be the impetus toward my later, some might say gluttonous, forays into the sporting art field." [1] With its suggestions of morning, green freshness, and the friendship between a boy and a horse, the work went to the heart of the vision of England that Paul Mellon formed in his own boyhood. Stubbs remained his favorite artist and Pumpkin his favorite painting throughout his life.

[1] Reflections 1992, 280-1.

Malcolm Warner

Warner, Malcolm and John Baskett. The Paul Mellon Bequest : treasures of a lifetime. New Haven : Yale Center for British Art, 2001, p. 81

A Great Collection of British Pictures in Virginia, The Times (London), Issue No. 55689, May 1, 1963, p. 5, Available Online : Times Digital Archive Also available on Microfilm: Film An T482 (SML)

Brian Allen, The Sport of Collecting : Paul Mellon and British Art, Apollo, v.165,no.542, April 2007, pp. 35,36, fig. 4, N1 A54 + (YCBA)

Arthur Ackermann & Son Ltd., An exhibition of XVIIIth and XIXth century oil paintings of celebrated racehorses : 9th May to 1st June, 1962, presented by the British Racehorse at the galleries of Arthur Ackermann & Son, Ltd. , London, 1962, p. 13, No. 5, DealerCat Arthur Ackermann (YCBA)

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)

John Baskett, Paul Mellon's Legacy: a Passion for British Art: Masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, pp. 2, 253, no. 25, fig. 2, pl. 25, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Castiglione, Scott, auctioneers, London, Heirlooms and objet d'art from Ruxley Lodge by order of Rt. Hnble Gerald Henry Baron Foley., October 14-20, 1919 , Castiglione, Scott, [London, 1919, p. 40, lot. 564, X348 C191 1919/10/14-20 (LSF - MUDD)

Malcolm Cormack, George Stubbs in the collection of Paul Mellon, a memorial exhibition , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Conn., 1999, pp. 10, 13, 30, no. 13, NJ18 St915 G54 1999 (YCBA) Copy 2 is on Mellopn Shelf

Lindsay Duguid, The Recollected Works, TLS, the Times Literary Supplement, Issue no. 5458, November 8, 2007, p. 17, Available Online : TLS Archive Also Available on microfilm : Film S748 (SML)

Judy Egerton, British Sporting and Animal Paintings 1655-1867: A Catalogue, The Paul Mellon Collection , Tate Publishing, London, 1978, p. 87, no. 84, Colour Pl. 14, ND1383 G7 B75 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Judy Egerton, George Stubbs, painter, catalogue raisonne , Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., London, 2007, pp. 358-59, no. 159, NJ18 St915 A12 E44 2007 + (YCBA)

Genius Defined, Time, vol. 82, no.. 1, July 5, 1963, p. 58, V 2333 (YCBA) Hard Copy also available at SML - AP2 T55 +

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

Chet Hagan, The Paul Mellon collection of sporting art, 1972, p. 1223, V 0368 (YCBA)

Luke Herrmann, The Paul Mellon Collection at Burlington House, Connoisseur, v. 157, no. 634, December 1964, p. 216, fig 7, N1 C75 + OVERSIZE (YCBA) Another copy available in YCBA Vertical File Collection: v 2334

Julia Marciari-Alexander, This other Eden, paintings from the Yale Center for British Art , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1998, pp. 2-3, fig. 2, ND1314.3 Y36 1998 (YCBA)

Paul Mellon, Reflections in a silver spoon, a memoir , W. Morrow, New York, 1992, btwn p 382-3, N5220 M552 1992 (YCBA)

Oliver Millar, The later Georgian pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen., Phaidon, London, 1969, p. 125 (v. 1), no. 1120, ND466 M55 (YCBA) +

National Gallery of Art, Painting in Georgian England from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon., National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1970, p. 6, no. 15, ND488 P25 (YCBA)

Old Masters in Wide Variety, The racehorse in art , The Times (London), Issue no. 55393, 17 May 1962, p. 5, Avaialble Online : Times Digital Archive Also available on Microfilm: Film An T482 (SML)

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. 77 (v.1), no. 274, pl. 54, 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. 168 (v.1), no. 319, pl. 184, ND466 V57 v.1-2 (YCBA)

Constance-Anne Parker, Mr. Stubbs, the Horse Painter, J. A. Allen, London, 1971, pp. 109, 149, NJ18 St915 +P37 Oversize (YCBA)

Paul Mellon's legacy, a passion for British art : April 18-July 29, 2007 , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Conn., 2007, pp. 8-9, V 1735 (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)

Duncan Robinson, At home to sporting art : the Brick House, Essays of Friends of British Sporting Art, no. 33, The British Sporting Art Trust, Summer 1997, pp. 2, 4, N8250 .B751 (YCBA)

Lindsay Rothwell, Paul Mellon's legacy, an American's passion for British art : Sackler Wing of Galleries, 20 October 2007 - 27 January 2008 : an introduction to the exhibition for teachers and students. , Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK, 2007, pp. 2-3, cat. 25, V 2038 (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, p. 1, no. 1, V 0413 (YCBA)

Basil Taylor, Stubbs, Phaidon, London, 1975, p. 210, pl. 66, NJ18 St915 T39 1975 (YCBA) +

Basil Taylor, Stubbs, Phaidon, London, 1971, p/ 210, no. 66, pl. 66, NJ18 St915 T39 (YCBA) +

The Ascott collection, Ascott, Buckinghamshire. , The National Trust, London, 1963, p. 14, DA664 A83 N37 (YCBA)

The Yale Center for British Art, An Anniversary Celebration of Paul Mellon's Great Legacy , Apollo, April 2007, p. 35, fig. 4, N5220 M552 A7 OVERSIZE (YCBA) Appeared as April 2007 issue of Apollo;; all of the articles may also be found in bound Apollo Volume [N1 A54 165:2 +]

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Sport and the horse, catalogue of the exhibition of paintings assembled at the museum in Richmond from April 1 through May 15, 1960. , Richmond, 1960, p. 32, no. 20, N7668 H6 V57 (YCBA) +

Malcolm Warner, The Paul Mellon Bequest : treasures of a lifetime, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2001, p. 81, N5247 M385 P28 2001 (YCBA)

Giles Waterfield, Mr. Mellon, RA : the magazine for the Friends of the Royal Academy, No. 96, Autumn 2007, p. 71, V 1905 (YCBA)

John Wilmerding, In honor of Paul Mellon, collector and benefactor, Essays , National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC & Hanover, NH, 1986, pp. 24, 27,29-31, fig. 3 [b/w], N7442.2 M455 1986 (YCBA)

Charles B. Wrightsman, The Wrightsman collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1966, p. 217, no. 2, N5220 W88 (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, pp. 49-50 (v.1), no. 186, pl. 54, ND466 Y35 (YCBA)


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