WOOLLETT, William (1735-85) after George Stubbs
The Spanish Pointer, Engraved after an Original Picture of Mr. George Stubbs, in the Possession of Mr. Bradford
London: R. H. Laurie, . 20th century impression. Excellent condition. Plate mark: 17 1/2 x 22 inches.
A beautifully coloured engraving after Stubbs by one of the leading English engravers, William Woollett.
George Stubbs is considered one of the greatest English painters. His ingenious animal and sporting pictures remain unrivalled in their passionate depiction of emotion and their commitment to naturalistic observation. Stubbs' was briefly apprenticed to the painter Hamlet Winstanley, a relationship that quickly ended, leaving the young artist to his own tuition. In contrast to contemporary academic theory, Stubbs' attached great importance to the belief that art should imitate nature, not the work of other artists. He spent years carefully studying human and equine anatomy so that he could truthfully represent natural form and movement. A result of this study was his famous 'Anatomy of the Horse', which details, with beautiful engraving, the various elements of a horse's anatomy, from skeletal form to muscular definition. By the 1760s, Stubbs had developed a considerable reputation as a sporting artist and had attracted a number of distinguished patrons. Continuing in search on innovation, Stubbs began experimenting with a myriad of different mediums, becoming accomplished in both enamels and printmaking. Through arduous application, he became a talented mezzotint engraver and worked with ease in both soft ground, and etching techniques. Stubbs' masterful paintings inspired some of the greatest engravers of the day to reproduce his work for publication, including his own son George Townly Stubbs who reproduced with faithful accuracy the sublime emotion inherent in his father's exquisite works. Stubbs was elected director of the Society of Artists and a Royal Academician, and today his prized paintings are housed in some of the finest museums in the world.
This beautiful print not only exemplifies Stubbs' genius but highlights the superior engraving talents of William Woollett. With its dual appeal, both to collectors of fine prints and to sportsmen, 'The Spanish Pointer' became one of Wollett's most popular prints. Woollett was widely regarded as one of the best engravers of his day,
Lennox-Boyd, William Stubbs 10; Siltzer, The Story of British Sporting Prints p. 269.