Landseer is best known for his paintings of dogs in the 1830s and this is his most popular work. The bloodhound and scotch terrier belonged to Landseer’s friend, advisor and manager, Jacob Bell. Parodying the dutch portrait style - where the image would be framed by a door or window with the subject’s hand draped over the edge - Landseer liked to give his animal subjects human characteristics.
Sir Edwin Henry Landseer
Dignity and Impudence
89 x 69 cm
Date of work
An infant prodigy and the most successful of a large artistic family, Landseer quickly attained social and professional prowess. One of the foremost animal painters, his romantic works appealed to Victorian tastes and he was Queen Victoria’s favourite painter for a while. His reputation later plummeted due to the sentimental, moralistic tone of his work. Dogged by depression after a breakdown in his 30s he eventually completed the sculpture of four magnificent bronze lions for Nelson’s Column in 1860.