Game Keepers

  • About the work

    This print is based on a painting by George Stubbs, titled ‘Lord Torrington’s Steward and Gamekeeper with their Dogs at Southill Bedfordshire’, which was commissioned by George Byng, fourth Viscount Torrington (1740-1812) in 1767 as one of three portraits of Torrington’s outdoor servants. The gamekeeper in Stubb’s painted version and the central figure in this print is Joseph Mann, who worked as a huntsman and then gamekeeper for three successive Lord Torringtons from 1733 to 1777. By 1790, the original painting and its companion work ‘Labourers’ were in the collection of Andrew Harrison, who commissioned painter Amos Green to replace the background view, showing Torrington’s Southill estate, with generalised rustic scenery. Landscape painter and diarist Joseph Farington commented that the alterations were ‘very unworthy’ of Stubbs’s paintings. The works were later engraved by Henry Birche.

  • About the artist
    George Stubbs was born in Liverpool; the son of a currier. He worked with his father before assisting Hamlet Winstanley. From 1745 he studied anatomy at York County Hospital and later made studies in horse anatomy, drawing and dissecting horses with the assistance of Mary Spencer, his common-law wife. He moved to London in c.1759 and published ‘Anatomy of the Horse’ (1766). Patrons included the second Marquess of Rockingham. He exhibited at the Society of Artists (1761-74), serving as Director (1765-74), Treasurer (1768-72) and President (1772-73). He was elected a Royal Academician but failed to submit his diploma work. His final publication compared the anatomies of a human, tiger and common fowl (published 1804-06). He died aged 81.
    Amos Green was born in Halesowen, Shropshire. His brothers Benjamin (c.1739-1798) and John (active 1758) were engravers. He was apprenticed to John Baskerville and painted fruit and flower still-lifes in the manner of Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer and Jan van Huysum. He took up residence with the wealthy Deane family of Hagley, Birmingham, and exhibited at the Society of Artists (1760-65) from his Birmingham address, before moving with Anthony Deane to Bergholt in Suffolk, then Clifton near Bristol and finally to Bath, where they remained for several years. In 1796, he married Harriet Lister of York. They settled in Castle Hill, York. In 1806, they purchased a second property in Ambleside, where Green opened an exhibition. He died in York in 1807.

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  • Details
    Game Keepers
    published 25 May 1790
    Colour mezzotint
    Purchased from Colnaghi, October 1953
    GAC number