(b Liverpool, Aug 25, 1724; d London, July 10, 1806).
English painter, draughtsman, and printmaker. His study of anatomy enabled him to paint horses, dogs, and wild animals with unsurpassed truth to nature, while his innate sense of design enabled him to achieve graceful, rhythmic compositions. His contemporary reputation was chiefly based on portraits of horses and dogs; but he also painted human portraits, conversation pieces, and imaginative subjects with animals. His keen empirical instinct led him to experiment with enamel painting and to the perfection of a fastidiously beautiful mixed-method printmaking technique.
As an artist Stubbs was largely self-taught. Until he was about 16 he worked with his father, a currier in Liverpool. He then (probably in 1741) worked briefly under Hamlet Winstanley (1694–1756), an artist from Warrington, Lancs, copying pictures in the collection of Edward Stanley, 11th Earl of Derby (1689–1776), at Knowsley Hall, near Liverpool; disliking copying, Stubbs left to teach himself to paint at home. He moved to York ...