Monday, November 25, 2013

Painting of the Day: “A Horse Frightened by a Lion,” George Stubbs, 1770

A Horse Frightened by a Lion
George Stubbs, 1770
The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Eighteenth Century painter George Stubbs was celebrated for his equestrian portraits, but often desired to paint loftier subjects than horses. Still, his public expected horses from Stubbs, and horses he gave them. However, he found a way to incorporate the horses that his fans desired into grander paintings.

This canvas entitled, “A Horse Frightened by a Lion” was inspired by Stubbs’ 1755 trip to Rome where he spotted a fragment of an ancient sculpture in the Palazzo dei Conservatori. Stubbs’ has rendered the horse magnificently, which is not surprising. The lion, however, looks a little weak and drowsy—owing to the fact that he figure was painted with the only model being a lion skin. Regardless of the rather limp lion, it’s still a powerful painting.

Ancient Sculpture

No comments: