Painted in 1762 by horse specialist George Stubbs, Charles Watson-Wentworth the 2nd Marquess of Rockingham’s racehorse Whistlejacket has been described as ‘a paradigm of the flawless beauty of an Arabian thoroughbred’. Stubbs was dedicated to expanding knowledge of equine physiology. He studied at York producing his landmark publication The Anatomy of a Horse in 1766. His drawings secured commissions from aristocratic patrons, that included Whig politician Watson-Wentworth. He later served two terms as Britain’s Prime Minister. Whistlejacket’s grandsire was the famous Godolphin Arabian, one of three stallions that founded the bloodlines of the modern thoroughbred horse. A successful winner for his owner, including a four mile race at York, Whistlejacket was painted by Stubbs in the pose of the levade, a movement derived from manoeuvres first used in battle. They are performed today in classical dressage and it is an extremely strenuous position for the horse to hold.
Tags2nd Marquess RockinghamCharles Watson-WentworthEquine PhysiologyGeorge STubbsGodolphin ArabianThoroughbred horsesWistlejacket
Carolyn McDowall FRSA has gained considerable experience and business acumen in her professional career. An independent cultural and social historian, Carolyn is an interior designer by trade. She has been involved in the creative sector for over thirty years in Australia; completing interior design projects, creating and producing innovative corporate and not-for profit (social profit) community events. She has over that time continuously conducted independent research , while designing, developing, and producing educational art and design history programs in conjunction with renowned specialist colleagues.