The Easel

What lies beneath

There can be costs to being good at just one thing. Stubbs’ paintings of horses were of unparalleled anatomical accuracy and notable empathy. When he brought them to London he was a hit with wealthy horse owners. He liked their horses more than he liked them. They noticed. Britain’s greatest painter of the equine form was pidgeon-holed a “sporting painter”. Full membership of the Royal Academy was denied.