Few artists have climbed as rapidly as George Stubbs from provincial obscurity to metropolitan fame, though his success did not come early, nor was it easily achieved. Having lived through three-quarters of the Eighteenth Century, his star waned in old age but he retained to the end his abilities and ambitions.
Stubbs was born in the rapidly expanding port of Liverpool in 1724, the son of a hard-working but not particularly wealthy leather-dresser. As a mere five-year-old, he was said to have shown precocious talent for drawing, but the sturdy mercantilism of Liverpool had little respect for art and Stubbs senior told his son (with some justice) that to take up the life of a painter was about as safe …
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Blake, Robin James. "George Stubbs". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 April 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=11705, accessed 26 May 2017.]