A Bay Hunter with Two Spaniels George Stubbs Buy Art Prints Now
from Amazon

* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

A Bay Hunter and Two Spaniels is an oil on canvas by English painter, George Stubbs. The 1777 artwork is one of the many pieces by Stubbs that used animals as subjects. Stubbs was always painting different creatures, particularly horses in everyday settings.

In this piece, Stubbs painted a bay hunting horse standing against a beautiful landscape. Two white spaniels are jumping around playfully at its feet. The horse looks majestic as it stares into the distance with its glossy mane smoothened on its back. In the horizon, it looks like the sun is just coming up as the sky glows orange. The animals are set on a lush, green countryside with fertile hills visible in the distance. There is even what seems like a lake separating the plains. The bay-coloured horse and dogs must be getting ready to go out for a hunt, judging from the excitement. Conversely, they could have just returned from a successful session.

George Stubbs studied anatomy so that he could add more realism into his horse paintings, and he does not disappoint. He presents the equine form with brilliant precision. The horse has a rich brown colour, as dark as coffee. Its dark mane shines from head to tail. It is even possible to trace some veins on the horse's face. Stubbs does the dogs justice as well. From the tilt of the head to the paws in mid-air, one can clearly see the joy of the spaniels. Each aspect of the animals is meticulous. It is even possible to narrow down the breed. Looking at the height and furry coat of the dogs, they could be Springer or King Charles Spaniels.

Stubbs was one of the most effective artists when it came to capturing animals. He developed his technique during the Neo-Classical era when British artists were more focused on landscape art than anything else. A good number of George Stubbs’ animal paintings used villas as backgrounds. A Bay Hunter and Two Spaniels is one of the few where he explored the traditional pastoral landscape. This setting and subjects make it a bit similar to another Stubbs artwork, A Bay Hunter, A Springer Spaniel and a Sussex Spaniel. A Bay Hunter and Two Spaniels is a testament of the level of sophisticated treatment that George Stubbs gave to his horse paintings. It is an astute depiction of the equine form with just a hint of emotion.