George Stubbs, "Horses Fighting," 1788
Catching Sight: The World of the British Sporting Print
Aug 31, 2013 – Dec 29, 2013Mellon Gallery
This exhibition sheds new light on a common, but often overlooked aspect of British art: the British Sporting Print. Highly sought after during the 18th and 19th centuries, these prints endure as symbols of English culture. Featuring more than 100 prints, Catching Sight demonstrates the aesthetic sophistication and accomplishments of the genre. The exhibition takes an innovative approach to the subject, examining these works of art from an art historical perspective rather than simply as documents of the history of sport and rural culture. By focusing on the visual language of Sporting Prints, Catching Sight demonstrates the qualities of directness, vividness, and even wit for which the genre was prized by both the larger public and artists such as Degas and Géricault, who borrowed extensively from its artistic vocabulary.
Catching Sight is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue by Mitchell Merling, Paul Mellon Curator, with contributions from Malcolm Cormack, Paul Mellon Curator Emeritus, and Corey Piper, former Curatorial Associate for the Mellon Collection.