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IIIF Actions
George Stubbs, 1724–1806
ca. 1759
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on copper
5 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches (14 x 10.8 cm), Frame: 10 1/2 × 9 1/4 × 1 1/2 inches (26.7 × 23.5 × 3.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Purchased in memory of Paul Mellon on the occasion of his centennial
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
coat | costume | man | oval | portrait | self-portrait
Associated People:
Stubbs, George (1724–1806), painter, engraver, and anatomist
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

This is the earliest of three surviving self-portraits by George Stubbs and offers a characteristically dispassionate study of the artist’s own features. It is painted on copper and was perhaps made at the time he taught himself how to etch the copper plates for his seminal treatise, The Anatomy of the Horse (1766).

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

This is the earliest of three surviving self-portraits by George Stubbs, of which the other two are both oval in format and executed in enamels on Wedgwood plaques. It is also the only known painting by Stubbs on copper, and besides his comparatively youthful appearance here, the date of the work may be tentatively proposed on the grounds that this was the period in which Stubbs was teaching himself to etch the copper plates from which his treatise The Anatomy of the Horse (1766) was later printed. The execution is startlingly fresh, but suggests also a measure of maturity in the dispassionate manner with which the artist observes his robust build and five o’clock shadow.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2007

George Stubbs (Neue Pinakothek - Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, 2012-01-26 - 2012-05-06) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Cassandra Albinson, New Acquisitions, Apollo, v. 165, no. 542, April, 2007, pp. 40-41, figs. 1 and 2, N1 A54 + (YCBA) [YCBA]

Christie's sale catalogue : Important English Pictures : 26 March 1976, Christie's, March 26, 1976, p. 42, lot 82, Sales Catalogues (YCBA) [YCBA]

Christie's Sales Catalogue : British Pictures 1500-1850 : 8 June 2006, Christie's, June 8, 2006, pp. 44-45, lot 35, Sales Catalogues (YCBA) [YCBA]

Judy Egerton, George Stubbs, painter : catalogue raisonne, , Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2007, pp. 72, 102-103, no. 1, NJ18 St915 A12 +E44 2007 (YCBA) [YCBA]

John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery mid-Georgian portraits, 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, London, 2004, p. 450, N1090 A631 2004 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Michael Jaffe, Stubbs, a self portrait , Burlington Magazine, vol. 127, no. 983, February, 1985, pp. 68, 85, pl. I & Fig. 21, N1 B87 + OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Alex Kidson, Earlier British paintings in the Walker Art Gallery and Sudley House, Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, 2012, p. 27, fig. 12, ND466 .K537 2012 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Huon Mallalieu, Review: Art Market, Excellent Views , Country Life, vol. 8, August 17, 2006, pp. 76-77, fig. 4, S3 C68 2006:8 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Herbert W Rott, George Stubbs, 1724-1806, science into art , Prestel, Munich ; New York, 2012, pp. 122-23, cat. no. 16, NJ18.St915 A1213 2012 + OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Spink & Sons, Spink and Son Dealer Catalogue : An Exhibition of English Oil Paintings, London, November 16-December 3, 1976, [p. 28], no. 27, Dealer Catalogue (YCBA) [YCBA]

The Yale Center for British Art, An Anniversary Celebration of Paul Mellon's Great Legacy , Apollo, April 2007, p. 40, fig. 1, 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 +] [YCBA]

Malcolm Warner, Stubbs and the Horse, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2004, p. 210, NJ18 St915 W37 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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