Hambletonian, Rubbing Down
George Stubbs, RA (Liverpool 1724 – London 1806)
Art / Oil paintings
1799 - 1800 (signed and dated) (exh at RA)
Oil on canvas
2096 x 3673 mm (82 1/2 x 144 5/8 in)
Place of origin
LondonOrder this image
Mount Stewart, County Down (Accredited Museum)
On show at
Stubbs painted this celebrated thoroughbred after a close race at Newmarket in 1799. Hambletonian’s owner won 3,000 guineas. But the 75-year old artist had to sue for his 300 guinea fee. The twelve-foot-wide picture deliberately shows the racehorse in the final stages of exhaustion, though without the terrible wounds inflicted. Naked – only attended by groom and rubbed down by stable boy - yet supreme.
Oil painting on canvas, Hambletonian, Rubbing Down by George Stubbs, RA (Liverpool 1724 – London 1806), signed and dated, lower centre: Geo: Stubbs 1800. A painting of a racehorse in the final stages of exhaustion attended by a groom and stable boy. Commissioned by the owner, Sir Henry Vane-Tempest, 2nd Bt (1771-1813) whose only child and daughter was later married to the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, it shows the celebrated thoroughbred, Hambletonian (1792 - 1818) being rubbed down after the close match with Mr Joseph Cookson's Diamond at Newmarket on 25 March 1799.
Commissioned by Sir Henry Vane-Tempest, 2nd Bt (1771-1813) in 1799; thence by descent to his daughter and only child, Frances Anne, Marchioness of Londonderry (1800-1865) at Londonderry House, London; substituted by Frances Anne, Marchioness of Londonderry, at the auction at Christie's, London, on 9 July 1853, of "a small collection of pictures from Glenarm Castle, Ireland, the residence of the late Edmund Macdonald, Esq.", after the catalogue was printed, for a "modern portrait" of Lady Frances [Anne] Vane (lot 10), Ströhling’s autograph replica of the portrait of her father, and a portrait of herself by Lawrence; bought from this auction by ‘Street’ for £24, apparently on behalf of Frances Anne, Marchioness of Londonderry and hung at Wynyard Park, Co. Durham (where the horse was buried); thence by descent, until transferred to the National Trust by Lady Mairi Bury (1921-2009) in 1976.
Mount Stewart, The Londonderry Collection (National Trust)
Marks and inscriptions
Lower centre: Geo: Stubbs 1800 Cartouche is hanging below painting on the wall: Hambletonian 1800 Stubbs Pinx (accompanying cartouche)
Makers and roles
George Stubbs, RA (Liverpool 1724 – London 1806), artist
Casement 2007 Anne Casement, "The strange sale of pictures from Glenarm: Stubbs’s ‘Hambletonian, rubbing down' ", The National Trust Annual, 2007, pp.57–61 Egerton 2007 Judy Egerton, George Stubbs, Painter: Catalogue Raisonné, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2007