George Stubbs Dingo and Kangaroo

george stubbs kangaroo

Historically significant George Stubbs paintings to stay in the UK. A retarded rat looking thing on two legs that’s supposed to be a kangaroo and a fox looking animal that’s supposed to be a dingo will no longer make their way to Australian shores after a campaign backed by British documentary maker David Attenborough saw the artworks slapped with an export ban.

The National Gallery of Australia are saying that they think the paintings are of much greater historical importance to Australia and the UK’s Maritime Museum says they’re hugely important visual records of British scientific exploration.

Poor old George only had sketches and specimens brought back from New Holland to work with, so you can forgive the man for making the kangaroo and dingo look a bit wonky.

They’ll now be hung at the National Maritime Museum in London, much more well known than before the little Aussie v Brit art tiff. The only way art ever makes the lame-stream media is with controversy.

george stubbs kangaroo

George Stubbs – Kongouro from New Holland, 1772.

george stubbs dingo

George Stubbs – Portrait of a Large Dog, 1772.

I first saw this story over at Ian’s London Art News blog here. There’s also a report on it at the BBC here and an Australian perspective at the ABC here.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Hi, Dion

    They didn’t even know how to spell Kangaroo back in 1772.

    I was surprised that Britain went all out to grab these paintings, because as far as I know they weren’t owned by a member of our aristocracy. One of the things that niggles me about these appeals is that they usually crop up when an English me lord is flogging the artwork. We’ve lost tons of great paintings because the owners weren’t important enough to make the grade. Most went to the USA, but Doha is increasingly outbidding everybody for famous paintings. (Check who’s No 1 on the 2013 art list of movers and shakers.)

  2. Yeah, I’m always suspicious when very large sums of money are involved Ian. At the end of the day though, they’re probably more British than Australian, so I don’t have a problem with it. They got quite a bit of publicity, so they’re probably a lot more valuable now ;-)

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