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), father-in-law of the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, it shows the celebrated thoroughbred 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 Wynward 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