Art Wednesday: Sir Edwin Landseer


Artist: Sir Edwin Landseer (1802 - 1873)
Born: London, United Kingdom
English painter of animals

If you love animals, you will love the work of Edwin Landseer.  His animals are magnetic, elegant, handsome and powerful.  They show tenderness (just look at the one below of the horses) and gentleness (as in the dog paintings).  These are beautiful pieces of art.

A child prodigy, Landseer’s talent was recognized early.  At the age of 13 Landseer exhibited works at the Royal Academy - some artists waited their whole life to exhibit at the Royal Academy.  By 24 he was an associate of the Academy. 

Landseer was rumored to be able to paint with both hands at the same time, for example, paint a horse's head with the right and its tail with the left, simultaneously. He was also known to be able to paint extremely quickly—when the mood struck him. He could also procrastinate, sometimes for years, over certain commissions.

He was knighted in 1850.

Sadly, 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, hypochondria, and depression, often aggravated by alcohol and drug use. 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.

The Arab Tent
The Old Shepherd
This painting shows such tenderness between the dog and his master, now gone but never forgotten.  I just want to take the dog up in my arms and comfort him. 
The Monarch of the Glen
Landseer's most famous painting, however, once the painting was completed, the House of Commons (who had commission three works of art) refused to pay the 150 pound fee promised for the commission.  As a result, the paintings were sold to private collectors.  The Pear’s Soap Company eventually purchased “Monarch of the Glen” and featured it in their advertising.  It was later sold to John Dewar and Son’s distillery, and became their trademark, before being sold to and used by Glenfiddich.  The original painting is now part of the Diageo collection.  It has been exhibited by the National Galleries of Scotland.

The Wild Cattle Chillingham
 Dignity and Impudence
Lady Blessingham's dog

Windsor Castle in Modern Times
Landseer wasn't only a painter, he also made sculpture including four lions located in Trafalgar Square, London.  Below is a painting by Landseer of himself making the lions!  The press and public alike ridicule Landseer and didn't think these lions were worthy of being placed at the base of Nelsons Column.



  1. Those are great, Jo! I love animal art! :) He was a very talented artist! I particularly like "The Arab Tent". Horses are such beautiful creatures and he captured them beautifully.

  2. Oh, those are beautiful! I did not know about this artist ~ I'm so glad you shared his work.

    Thank you for your comment this morning. I don't know what I did to snag the attention of the trolls, but it's so nice to have some blog friends who will help come to my defence. Blessings! ~~*~~*~~

  3. These paintings are gorgeous! I immediately feel in love with, "The Arab Tent." This artist obviously had a love for animals. It's a shame that he "went insane" near the end of his life. It makes me wonder what caused it.


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