Sir Edwin Landseer
Sir Edwin Landseer Galleries
Landseer was something of a child prodigy whose artistic talents were recognized early on; he studied under several artists, including his father John Landseer, an engraver, and Benjamin Robert Haydon, the well-known and controversial history painter who encouraged the young Landseer to perform dissections in order to fully understand animal musculature and skeletal structure.
At the age of just 13, in 1815, Landseer exhibited works at the Royal Academy. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy at the age of 24, and an Academician of the Royal Academy five years later in 1831. He was knighted in 1850, and although elected President of the Royal Academy in 1866 he declined the invitation.
Landseer was a notable figure in 19th century British art, and his works can be found in Tate Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Kenwood House and the Wallace Collection in London. He also collaborated with fellow painter Frederick Richard Lee.
Windsor Castle in Modern Times (1841-1845)
Queen Victoria and her family at Windsor Castle.Landseer's popularity in Victorian Britain was considerable. He was widely regarded as one of the foremost animal painters of his time, and reproductions of his works were commonly found in middle-class homes. Yet his appeal crossed class boundaries, for Landseer was quite popular with the British aristocracy as well, including Queen Victoria, who commissioned numerous portraits of her family (and pets) from the artist. Landseer was particularly associated with Scotland and the Scottish Highlands, which provided the subjects (both human and animal) for many of his important paintings, including his early successes The Hunting of Chevy Chase (1825-1826) and An Illicit Whiskey Still in the Highlands (1826-1829), and his more mature achievements such as the majestic stag study Monarch of the Glen (1851) and Rent Day in the Wilderness (1855-1868).
Landseer's paintings of dogs were highly popular among all classes of society.So popular and influential were Landseer's paintings of dogs in the service of humanity that the name Landseer came to be the official name for the variety of Newfoundland dog that, rather than being black or mostly black, features a mix of both black and white; it was this variety Landseer popularized in his paintings celebrating Newfoundlands as water rescue dogs, most notably Off to the Rescue (1827), A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society (1838), and Saved (1856), which combines Victorian constructions of childhood with the appealing idea of noble animals devoted to humankind ?? a devotion indicated, in Saved, by the fact the dog has rescued the child without any apparent human direction or intervention.
In his late 30s Landseer suffered what is now believed to be a substantial nervous breakdown, and for the rest of his life was troubled by recurring bouts of melancholy, hypchondria, and depression, often aggravated by alcohol and drug use (Ormond, Monarch 125). In the last few years of his life Landseer's mental stability was problematic, and at the request of his family he was declared insane in July 1872.
Landseer's death on 1 October 1873 was widely marked in England: shops and houses lowered their blinds, flags flew at half-staff, his bronze lions at the base of Nelson's column were hung with wreaths, and large crowds lined the streets to watch his funeral cortege pass (Ormond, Monarch 135). Landseer was buried in St Paul's Cathedral, London . Related Paintings of Sir Edwin Landseer :. | The Old Shepherd's Chief Mourner | The Sanctuary (mk25) | Arab stable ion | Lady Blessinghtam's Dog | Queen Victoria at Osborne House (mk25) |
Related Artists:Stefano Torelli
Bologna 1712-St Petersburg 1784
was an Italian painter. He was born in Bologna. He studied first under his father, Felice Torelli, and then under Francesco Solimena. The future King of Poland, Augustus III, brought him to Dresden in 1740, where he painted altar-pieces and ceiling decorations, many destroyed in the Seven Years' War. He painted figures in Canaletto's twenty-nine views of Dresden (1741). In 1762 he was summoned to the Russian court where he painted ceilings in the Royal Palace, and some portraits, among the latter one of the Empress Elizabeth in armor. He was a clever caricaturist, and etched a few plates. He died in St. Petersburg. Alexander Nasmyth
was a Scottish portrait and landscape painter, often called the father of Scottish landscape painting". Edinburgh Castle and Nor'Loch, circa 1780.Born in Edinburgh, he studied at the Royal High School and the Trustees Academy under Alexander Runciman, and, having been apprenticed as an heraldic painter to a coachbuilder, he, at the age of sixteen, attracted the attention of Allan Ramsay, who took the youth with him to London, and employed him upon the subordinate portions of his works. Nasmyth returned to Edinburgh in 1778, and was soon largely patronized as a portrait painter. He also assisted Mr Miller of Dalswinton, as draughtsman, in his mechanical researches and experiments; and, this gentleman having generously offered the painter a loan to enable him to pursue his studies abroad, he left in 1782 for Italy, where he remained two years. Robert Burns, 1787.On his return he painted the excellent portrait of Robert Burns, now in the Scottish National Gallery, well known through Walker's engraving. Political feeling at that time ran high in Edinburgh, and Nasmyth's pronounced Liberal opinions, which he was too outspoken and sincere to disguise, gave offence to many of his aristocratic patrons, and led to the diminution of his practice as a portraitist. In his later years, accordingly, he devoted himself mainly to landscape work, and did not disdain on occasion to set his hand to scene-painting for the theatres. He has been styled, not unjustly, the father of Scottish landscape arte His subjects are carefully finished and coloured, but are wanting in boldness and freedom.MacLeod, William Douglas