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George Stubbs, 1724–1806, British

Two Gentlemen Going a Shooting, with a View of Creswell Crags, Taken on the Spot

ca. 1767
Oil on canvas
Support (PTG): 40 x 50 inches (101.6 x 127 cm)

Label on verso, center left: “Pitt & Scott Ltd | London | [handwritten] Wildenstein | [typed] B O [handwritten] 6879 | 03”; lower center: “Established [logo with lion and unicorn] 1783 | By Royal Warrant | Arthur Ackermann & Son, Inc. | of London and Chicago | 10 Eas[...]”

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Given by Paul Mellon in memory of his friend James Cox Brady, Yale College, Class of 1929
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
cliff | costume | cottage | dogs (animals) | guns | hills | hunters | hunting | landscape | limestone | men | rifles (long guns) | river | series (groups) | sporting art | sportsmen | water mill | wheel
Associated Places:
Creswell | Creswell Crags | Derbyshire | Derwent | England | Europe | Nottinghamshire | United Kingdom
On view

This is the first in a series of four paintings that depict episodes from a day’s sport, completed by George Stubbs between 1767 and 1770. The painter himself gave the pictures their titles, so we know that the setting is supposed to be near Creswell Crags, which are steep limestone formations found between Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Caves in the crags contain prehistoric human remains as well as hunting tools and weapons (Stubbs also featured the formations in his paintings of lions attacking horses). While the shooting series seems to contemplate the timelessness of the hunt, it might also be interpreted as a meditation on the passage of time itself. The first scene takes place at dawn, when the hunting party is preparing to embark. William Wildman, the wealthy wholesale butcher and sportsman who owned—and likely commissioned—the series, is probably one of the huntsmen depicted.

\Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

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)

Robin Blake, George Stubbs and the wide creation, animals, people and places in the life of George Stubbs, 1724-1806 , Chatto & Windus, London : Chatto & Windus, 2005, 2005, pp. 172-76, pl. 23, NJ18.St915 B53 2005 (YCBA)

Christie's Sale Catalogue: British Pictures 1500-1850. 1 December 2000, Christie's, 2000, p. 80, Lot 60, Sales Catalogues (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. 218-219, N590.2 A83 (YCBA)

Malcolm Cormack, George Stubbs in the collection of Paul Mellon, a memorial exhibition , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Conn., 1999, pp. 68-9, no. 47, NJ18 St915 G54 1999 (YCBA) Copy 2 is on Mellopn Shelf

Stephen Deuchar, Noble exercise, the sporting ideal in eighteenth-century British art , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1982, pp. 10-11, 21, no. 20, ND1388 G7 D48+ (YCBA)

Stephen Deuchar, Sporting art in eighteenth-century England, a social and political history , Yale University Press, New Haven, 1988, pp. 40-1, 114-21, N8250 D48 (YCBA)

Judy Egerton, British Sporting and Animal Paintings 1655-1867: A Catalogue, The Paul Mellon Collection , Tate Publishing, London, 1978, pp. 81-3, no. 79, Colour pl. 13, ND1383 G7 B75 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Judy Egerton, George Stubbs and the Landscape of Creswell Crags, Burlington Magazine, vol. 126,no.981, December 1984, pp. 738-9, fig. 2, N1 B87 + (YCBA) Available online in JSTOR.

Judy Egerton, George Stubbs, 1724-1806, [exhibition] Tate Gallery. , Tate Publishing, London, 1984, pp. 108-11, no. 73, NJ18 St915 E43 (YCBA) +

Judy Egerton, George Stubbs, painter, catalogue raisonne , Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., London, 2007, pp. 250-2, no. 82, NJ18 St915 A12 E44 2007 + (YCBA)

John Ford, Ackermann 1783-1983 : the business of art, London, 1983, p. 158, N8640 A25 +F67 (YCBA)

Robert Fountain, Stubbs' dogs, the hounds and domestic dogs of the eighteenth century as seen through the paintings of George Stubbs , Arthur Ackermann & Son Ltd., London, 1984, pp. 44-7, NJ18 St915 A12 (YCBA) +

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

Mark Hallett, Reynolds : portraiture in action, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, New Haven, 2014, pp. 239,242, NJ18.R36 H35 2014 OVERSIZE (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.5,110,118-20, no. 44, fig. 5, ND1314.3 Y36 1998 (YCBA)

Venetia Morrison, The art of George Stubbs, Wellfleet Press, Seacaucus, N.J., 1989, pp. 63-87, 84-5, Unnumbered plate, NJ18 St915 M67 1989+ (YCBA)

Paul Mellon's Legacy, a passion for British art. [large print labels] , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 1, N5220 M552 +P381 2007, Mellon Shelf (YCBA)

Ronald Paulson, Emblem and expression, meaning in English art of the eighteenth century , Thames and Hudson, London, 1975, pp. 176-8, no. 109, NX543 P38 (YCBA)

Simon Schama, The Yale Centre for British Art, TLS, the Times Literary Supplement, Issue no. 3923, May 20, 1977, p. 619, Film S748 (SML) Also avaiable 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

Society of Artists of Great Britain, A catalogue of the pictures, sculptures, designs in architecture, models, drawings, prints, etc. : exhibited at the great room in Spring Garden, Charing Cross, April the twenty-second, 1767 / by the Society of Artists of Great Britain incorporated by his, William Bunce, London, UK, 1767, p. 13, no. 157, N5055 S6 C3 (RARE BOOKS, YCBA) Also Available online (18th Century Collection Online - Gale)

Society of Artists of Great Britain, A critical examination of the pictures, sculptures, designs in architecture, models, drawings, prints, etc., exhibited at the great room in Spring Gardens, Charing Cross, April 22, 1767, intended for the use of those who would understand what they see. , W. Griffin, London, UK, 1767, p. 16, no. 157, N5055 S6 C3 1760A (RARE BOOKS, YCBA) Also Available Online (18th Century Collections Online - Gale); there is no entry for # 188, Wright's "Portrait of a Man, Known as the "Indian Captain"

Society of Artists of Great Britain, Le pour et le contre, being a poetical display of the merit and demerit of the capital paintings, exhibited at Spring Gardens ... , London, 1767, p. 15, N5055.S6 C3 1760A (YCBA) Also available Online Online (18th Century Collections Online - Gale)

David H. Solkin, Art in Britain 1660-1815, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2015, p. 218, no. 221, N6766 S65 2015 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Walter Shaw Sparrow, George Stubbs and Ben Marshall, v. 2, Cassell Scribner, London New York, 1929, pp. 20-1, NJ18 St915 S73 1929 (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. 4, V 0413 (YCBA)

Basil Taylor, Stubbs, Phaidon, London, 1975, pp. 41, 209, pl. 48, 49, NJ18 St915 T39 1975 (YCBA) +

Malcolm Warner, George Stubbs, his patrons and collectors , Magazine Antiques, vol. 166, no. 6, December 2004, pp. 69, 70, V 1629 (YCBA) Available Online (Orbis).

John Wilmerding, In honor of Paul Mellon, collector and benefactor, Essays , National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC & Hanover, NH, 1986, pp. 84-94, N7442.2 M455 1986 (YCBA)

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