1724 – He was born on the 25th day of August of this year in Liverpool. He was the son of a currier. Information on his life up to age thirty-five is sparse, relying almost entirely on notes made by fellow artist Ozias Humphry towards the end of Stubbs’s life.
1740 – He worked as a portrait painter in the North of England.
1745 – From about this year until 1751, he studied human anatomy at York County Hospital.
1751 – He had had a passion for anatomy from his childhood, and one of his earliest surviving works is a set of illustrations for a textbook on midwifery which was published in this year.
1755 – He visited Italy. Forty years later he told Ozias Humphry that his motive for going to Italy was to convince himself that nature was and is always superior to art whether Greek or Roman, and having renewed this conviction he immediately determined upon returning home.
1759 – He rented a farmhouse in Lincolnshire and spent 18 months dissecting horses. He moved to London in about this year and in 1766 published the anatomy of the Horse. The original drawings are now in the collection of the Royal Academy. The 3rd Duke of Richmond commissioned three large pictures from him, and his career was soon secure.
1761 – From this year until 1776, he exhibited at the Society of Artists.
1763 – By this year, he had produced works for several more dukes and other lords and was able to buy a house in Marylebone, a fashionable part of London, where he lived for the rest of his life.
1770 – He painted single portraits of dogs for the first time, while also receiving an increasing number of commissions to paint hunts with their packs of hounds. He remained active into his old age.
1775 – He switched his allegiance to the recently founded but already more prestigious Royal Academy.
1791 – In the early 1790s he enjoyed the patronage of the Prince of Wales, whom he painted on horseback in this year.
1795 – His last project, begun in this year, was A comparative anatomical exposition of the structure of the human body with that of a tiger and a common fowl, engravings from which appeared between 1804 and 1806.
1806 – He passed away on the 10th day of July of this year in London.