EDWIN HENRY LANDSEER
London sporting, animal and portrait painter, and scluptor. As a boy, Landseer was fond of drawing animals, and he entered the Royal Academy schools at the age of fourteen. Encouraged by B. R. Haydon, he studied dissection and anatomy to perfect his knowledge of animas. He was elected Associate of the Royal Academy in 1826, and made a full Member in 1831.
In 1834, Landseer embarked with C. R. Leslie upon his first of many visits to Highlands. His many pictures of Highland animals and sporting scenes helped to establish the style for Scottish subjects. Queen Victoria was a great admirer of Landseer’s work. She owned a large number, and also commissioned him to paint her dogs. Landseer also painted portraits and designed sculpture; he was commissioned to model the bronze lions in Trafalgar Square. Enormous numbers of engravings were made after his works, which greatly increased their popularity.
Landseer exhibited from 1815-1873 at the Royal Academy; British Institution; Society of British Artists, Suffolk Street; and Old Watercolour Society. In 1840, he was knighted. Although a brilliant painter of animals, Landseer catered to the Victorian taste for monkey pictures, comical dogs, and excessive sentiment. For this reason some of his work finds little favour today. His sketches and drawings, however, are much appreciated for their wonderful observation and superb brushwork. Landseer’s last years were marred by depression and illness. In 1865 he was offered Presidency of the Royal Academy, but turned it down.