Thursday, June 9, 2011
"Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath, with a Trainer, a Stable-Lad, and a Jockey" by George Stubbs to be auctioned at Christie’s
During the the Old Master and British Paintings Evening Sale on 5 July 2011 at Christie's in London, one of the most important works of the British painter George Stubbs (1724-1806) is expected to realise in excess of £20 million.
Commissioned by the horse’s owner, Frederick St. John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke, and executed during the year of 1765, "Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath, with a Trainer, a Stable-Lad, and a Jockey (40in. x 76¼in. (101.6 x 193.6 cm.) shows Gimcrack in the foreground with his trainer and jockey, a stable-lad rubbing him down, and in the background winning a ‘trial’ by some distance.
George Stubbs spent his early artistic career working as a portrait painter, first in his native Liverpool, and subsequently in York. He visited Rome in 1754 and later on spent 18 months in a farmhouse in Lincolnshire dissecting and drawing horses in preparation for the publication of his famous book The Anatomy of the Horse.
His accurate depictions of animals and exceptional talent earned the artist the patronage of many important aristocrats, particularly those involved in horseracing, the ‘sport of Kings’.
Often celebrated as the most remarkable artist-scientist since Leonardo, Stubbs portrayed the horse with anatomical perfection, showing his veins pulsing through his skin.
Gimcrack was one of the most popular and admired of all 18th century racehorses. Although he was small, he had great stamina and won an impressive 28 of his 36 races, finishing unplaced only once.
Sold by the Bolingbroke family in 1943, it was bought by Walter Hutchinson, founder of the National Gallery of British Sports and Pastimes, before being sold again at Christie’s in 1951 when it made £12,600 and entered the Woolavington Collection.
This is the third time that "Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath, with a Trainer, a Stable-Lad, and a Jockey" appears at Christie's.
The painting is offered from the Woolavington Collection, one of the finest private collections of Sporting Art, and will be auctioned at the Old Master and British Paintings Evening Sale on 5 July 2011 in London.