Edwin Henry Landseer Biography | Oil Paintings
3-7-1802 London, ENG - 10-1-1873 London, ENGBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Edwin Henry Landseer was taught by his father to sketch animals from life. From the age of thirteen, he exhibited at the Royal Academy and became one of the most fashionable painters in the mid-Victorian period. Specializing in pictures of dogs with humanoid expressions and deer, usually set in misty, romantic Highland glens or moorland made popular by the novels of Sir Walter Scott and Queen Victoria's passion for Balmoral.
When he was nearly forty years old, Edwin Henry Landseer suffered a large nervous breakdown, partly caused by the failure of the royal portrait and for the rest of his life was troubled by recurring bouts of melancholy, hypochondria, and depression, often made worse by alcohol and drug use. For the next thirty years, he had to deal with this problem, but his painting continued. He was declared insane one year before his death.
Landseer's paintings attained even wider prominence as a result of the fine engravings of them produced by his brother Thomas. One of the Queens favorite artists, he was knighted in 1850. He modeled the four lions, cast in bronze, which sit at the foot of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London, unveiled in 1867.
So popular and influential were Edwin Henry Landseer's paintings of dogs in the service of humanity, that the name Landseer came to be the official name for a variety of Newfoundland dog. These paintings combine the Victorian concept of innocent children with the sentimental idea of noble animals devoted to their masters as in Saved.
In his late 30s Edwin Henry Landseer suffered what is now believed to be a large 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.
At his death, Edwin Henry Landseer still had three unfinished paintings on easels in his studio, in various stages of completion, Nell Gwynne at the Tavern, The Dead Stag, and Finding the Otter. His friend John Everett Millais complete the three paintings, fulfilling Landseer's last dying wish.
Landseer's posthumous reputation was dented by accusations of sentimentalizing animals and, in more recent years, of political incorrectness in glorifying blood sports, but he wielded enormous influence on a later generation of British artists.
Art Movement: Victorian Classicism
Artists Influencing Edwin Landseer: Benjamin Robert Haydon, George Stubbs.
He Traveled To Scotland.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.