John and Sophia Musters Riding at Colwick Hall 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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Lovers of art will always agree on one notion; there is more to a painting than the beautifully presented image on a surface.

Most of the reasons behind the works of art lie buried with the famous painters through a keen interest to detail gives an almost real impression during that time. Some of these paintings bring out the vivid natural forms of scenery while some elicit various expressions.

Painter George Stubbs in his painting work John and Sophia Musters Riding at Colwick Hall aimed at portraying a perfect romantic relationship that might have existed between the beautiful couple: John and Sophia, though in a real sense there were other mishaps (according to ancient sources) that have proven otherwise. It is an allegement that Sophia's choice of a husband; John Musters, by her parents made her very unhappy since she had a personal decision that faced rejection and as a result, she turned to infidelity for consolation.

When John discovered his wife’s acts of unfaithfulness, he got infuriated and asked Stubbs to remove Sophia from the original photo of the two that he had painted earlier and only painted her back years after they had resolved their conflicts and stayed together again as a couple despite the deceit. The painting might not depict the stormy marriage the two were in; it instead displays romanticism at its best. The deeply contrasting shades are evidence that the love birds were taking a romantic stroll during the day with pride and their ‘love conquers all’ portrait became the talk of the town.

Stubbs got his inspiration in painting from another painter Hamlet Winstanley though they differed and he went on to study anatomy. The anatomy of the horse got him interested and would paint them with ease before he later ventured into painting other exotic animals. John and Sophia Musters Riding at Colwick Hall might have gotten its inspiration from one of Stubbs' portrait of a racehorse standing on its hind legs: Whistlejacket, Mares and Foals in a Landscape and that of the Prince of Wales he painted on horseback.

Other works of the painter’s individual and group portraits of people, horses, and other animals earned him commissions too with most of his paintings distributed in different Museums though John and Sophia Muster Riding at Colwick Hall is in a Private Collection at The Bridgeman Art Gallery.