Earl Grosvenor's Bandy George Stubbs Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Earl Grosvenor was a lover of horse racing and art collection. He owned an Arabian stallion known as Bandy. He loved the idea that his horse's racing success can be highlighted in a portrait.

Therefore, he entrusted a remarkable English painter and artist known as George Stubbs with the work. Since George Stubbs knew the two passions of Lord Grosvenor, he painted the young stallion to be the centre of attention, while the groom appeared to be a secondary image. The renowned English painter was a master when it came to capturing the human and equine anatomy. He ensured the horse’s portrait portrayed its natural form and movement. He was able to produce the beautiful engraving of the horse’s skeletal and muscular form. He used the etching technique to ensure the portrait captured everyone’s attention. In addition, he was able to highlight the horse’s groom exact image. George Stubbs used oil on canvas. Using canvas material has made most of his portraits to be in good shape to date.

He first painted Bandy with a lighter shade from a drying oil extracted from pine resin that he treated as a translucent watercolour wash. He added more details on the lighter shade. Finally, he gave the horse’s image a great contrast by adding more strong details. He was able to highlight the horse’s legs and shoulders. Aside from that, he was able to capture the right hind leg in an amazing way using a romanticism and sensitivity style. In the background, he captures the landscape with low horizon, gently sloping hills, and soft foliage. This is meant to amplify the warm tone colour of the young chestnut stallion.

The remarkable English painter inspired many artists with his work. Despite having no adequate training as a painter, George Stubbs emerged as a winner. He was inspired by the likes of earlier horse painters such as James Seymour and John Wootton. However, his painting ability surpassed theirs. Some of the artists who followed in his footsteps include Peter Culling and J. N. Sartorious among others. The portrait is stored safely in a private collection. Earl Grosvenor’s Bandy portrait was one of the finest pictures George Stubbs ever painted in the 18th Century.