SIR EDWIN LANDSEER PAINTINGS FOR SALE & BIOGRAPHY
SIR EDWIN LANDSEER
Edwin Henry Landseer was the youngest of John Landseer's sons. He was a child prodigy and would go off on his own to draw animals. The Victoria and Albert Museum has drawings done by him when he was only five. He began his training at the Royal Academy in 1816. In 1824, he visited Scotland for the first time and met Walter Scott, a meeting which inspired his painting entitled Walter Scott and his Dogs. He often returned to the Scottish Highlands, the setting for many of his paintings.
Landseer's work ranged from the historical to the portrait and from hunting scenes to animals, especially deer, often set in imposing landscapes. In his paintings of animals, there was a strong attempt, usually successful, to convey the vague sentimentality and basic intelligence of his subjects; however, he sometimes failed to grasp the simple reality of his subject matter. Landseer was a remarkable draughtsman and a very able painter whose tendency to the sentimental stands in contrast with the work of some other artists, such as Rosa Bonheur, who excelled in paintings of animals. As a sculptor he was responsible for the large stone lions at the base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London.
In 1838, Landseer proved his worth as a portrait artist with his Marquis of Stafford and Lady Evelyn Gower. In 1849, following a visit to Belgium for material, he executed his famous work Dialogue at Waterloo, which appeared in 1850. He had been a member of the Royal Academy since 1831; when Sir Charles Eastlake died, he was offered the presidency of the Academy but declined the offer. The last years of his life were marred by illness.
Landseer was one of the most popular artists in England. He was Queen Victoria's favourite painter and his career consisted of one success after another. He became very wealthy through the sales of his works, which were also reproduced by the best engravers: the publishers Henry Graves and Co reproduced nearly all his works in mezzotint, including his most famous painting, Monarch of the Glen (owned by the distillers John Dewar & Sons).
Landseer first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1815 and began to show his works regularly there and at the British Institution in 1818. He received a knighthood in 1850. In 1855, he exhibited in Paris and was awarded a large gold medal. In 1874, an exhibition of 461 of his sketches, drawings and paintings was held at the Royal Academy (Benezit, Dictionary of Artists, Gründ, 2006).
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham
Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
National Museums Liverpool, Liverpool
Royal of Academy of Arts, London
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Tate Gallery, London
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Wallace Collection, London