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Sir Edwin Henry Landseer
Dates: British, 1802 - 1873
Biographical Account:

Landseer was the most famous animal painter in the Victorian period. His father was an engraver who encouraged his drawing skills. While Landseer often drew animals from life, he was also encouraged to make dissections from dead animals so that he could study their anatomy. At a young age his talent was recognised by the Royal Academy of Art and he displayed works there from the age of 13.


Landseer’s most popular works concerned domestic and exotic animals and hunting scenes in the Scottish Highlands. Mass-produced prints were made from many of Landseer’s animal drawings but he received a number of commissions from Queen Victoria. He painted her pets, particularly her dogs and family portraits for her.


Today, Landseer’s most famous works are the four lion sculptures that surround Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London. These were put in place in 1868. At the time, they were not considered successful.

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