George Stubbs was born in 1724. He was not only a painter of horses, but like Leonardo and the human figure, he was also a scientist studying their anatomy as no man had ever done before. Engravings were made from his skeletal and muscular drawings which were highly prized by veterinarians of his day. This led to the publication in 1766 of his voluminous discourse The Anatomy of the Horse which studied the animal from the inside out. It is still respected today. Though he read endlessly on the subject from his isolated farmhouse, his real knowledge came from firsthand studies. It's said he could lug a dead horse upstairs to his dissecting room single-handedly. With the help of a female assistant, variously reported to be his niece or aunt (but more likely his mistress), he often spent weeks studying and drawing his deceased subjects. Whoever she was, she must have had a strong stomach, given the odoriferous nature of the undertaking.
|Brood Mares and Foals, 1762, George Stubbs|