George StubbsMother and Child 1774

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Artwork details

Artist
George Stubbs (1724‑1806)
Title
Mother and Child
Date 1774
MediumEnamel on metal
Dimensionssupport: 305 x 305 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Sabin Galleries 1965
Reference
T00785
Not on display

Summary

This piece is one of Stubbs's numerous experiments in painting with enamel. The sitter is thought to be Stubbs's mistress, Mary Spencer. She was his constant companion for forty years, although contemporary accounts describe her as a female relation or friend. The infant may be their son George Townley Stubbs, but as he was born in 1756 the picture could not have been painted from life.

The work was in Mary Spencer's possession at the time of her death. She was probably also the model for the companion piece, Hope Nursing Love, 1774 (Victoria and Albert Museum, London). The catalogue of the sale of her estate says that Mother and Child is a version of a larger painting of the same subject, presumably the Mother with her Infant asleep, no.64 on the same day of the sale (1807)… (read more)

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