George Stubbs ARA (1)

I had the opportunity of looking at Stubbs’s anatomical drawings over the shoulder of Henri Loyrette, the former Director of the Louvre.   I couldn’t remember the status of Stubbs’s membership of the Royal Academy, only that he had been an ARA, not a full RA.    The answer is that he was elected an ARA on 6 November 1780 (he was 56) and a full RA on 13 February 1781.   But he refused to give a diploma work, regarding it as a ‘new rule’ aimed against him, in spite of it having been a requirement of the original Instrument of Foundation.    So, his membership was annulled (nothing to do with him being a sporting painter).   And it was Charles Landseer, not Stubbs, who gave the Academy the drawings for The Anatomy of the Horse, after acquiring them following their auction on Edwin Landseer’s death in 1873.

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