Stubbs was arguably the greatest painter of animals during the Enlightenment, highly regarded in his own lifetime and recognised as expert in depicting the anatomy of the beasts he painted. This rare mezzotint is after a famous work by the artist from the collection of the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace. At the time of this mezzotints production it was highly prized and critically lauded. Dixons plate was destroyed in a fire which made impressions even more desirable to 18th century and subsequent collectors and later inspired imitators. The present work though is part of that small and important early group by Dixon.
With margins, the sheet unevenly discoloured, the margins with occasional losses and tears, some extending slightly into the image, a few repaired (the largest measuring approx. 8 x 22mm), with associated creasing and skinning, four vertical folds extending across the sheet mostly visible verso. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."