If a member of the landed gentry in 18th-century England wanted a portrait of his prize-winning racehorse, he called on George Stubbs (1724-1806). Stubbs, the foremost painter of equine pictures (JAMA cover, March 9, 2005) in all of British art, cultivated his niche and catered to his wealthy patrons, including the Prince of Wales and Josiah Wedgwood. The sporting life was deeply entrenched in English country living, and racecourses were practically the only place—outside of brothels—where the aristocracy mixed freely with the working class. Gambling, drinking, and loose talk with looser women all made up the marvelous mélange of experiences at a race: a social equalizer surrounded by tons of exquisite, powerful horseflesh.
Torpy JM. White Poodle in a Punt. JAMA. 2009;302(4):355. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.948