Eclipse, A Dark Chestnut by George Stubbs


Eclipse, A Dark Chestnut


George Stubbs

Ref GM2187
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size 30" x 24" (76 x 60 cm)
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This painting was commissioned by Denis O’Kelly in the spring of 1770 to celebrate his purchase of Eclipse from William Wildman during the previous winter. It was for O’Kelly that Eclipse first raced at Newmarket where he promptly won a match and a race on the 17th and 19th of April 1770. A slightly oblique view of one end of the rubbing house as the four-mile stables establishes the setting. A jockey believed to be Samuel Merriott, who generally rode Eclipse, approaches as if to climb into the saddle. He wears the scarlet silks and black cap which had formally been Wildman’s colours and which were henceforward adopted by O’Kelly as his own. Eclipse is still remembered in the phrase "Eclipse first and the rest nowhere", referring to any dominating victory. This phrase is occasionally seen in American print media (most often in newspaper sport sections), but is more common in Britain.