George Stubbs and Whistlejacket in York

Whistlejacket by George Stubbs

1762AD - 1762AD

Both the horse, Whistlejacket,and the painter, Stubbs, had strong connections with York.

During the 18th century York was transforming into a playground for the rich. The racecourse got a smart new stand, designed by John Carr, in August 1755 and Whistlejacket won the first race run in front of it.

The horse went on to win his biggest prize - 2,000 guineas – at the York Races four years later.

Stubbs’s link with the city was early in his career, in his twenties he lived in York for six years, supporting himself by painting portraits of the gentry.  This was a crucial time for his development – the young artist honed his craft by dissecting and drawing bodies at the prestigious new County Hospital. His skill with the knife is said to have earned him some ‘vile renown’ locally.


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