Royal Academy Exhibit 1819 No 930 Oil on canvas 21 ¼ x 25 ¾ inches Framed size 29 ¼ x 33 ½ inches
Edwin was the youngest son of John Landseer A.R.A a noted engraver who lived in London.From the age of 5 Edwin Landseer showed exceptional talent for drawing animals and would take himself off for the day, just to go and sketch any animals he saw.He received some early instruction from his father, but at the age of fourteen he was enrolled into the Royal Academy Schools where his talent astonished many of his teachers.In 1815 'Master Landseer' had his first painting exhibited at the Royal Academy and he was only thirteen years of age.The present painting was one of his very first exhibits under 'professional status' still only seventeen when he painted it in 1819.In 1824 he visited the Highlands of Scotland for the first time where he met Sir Walter Scott and the young Edwin was fascinated by the wild nature of the landscape, which made a dramatic setting for his animal paintings. He would return there many times and was responsible, in no small part, through his painting using that landscape for a great increase in English visitors to the area, including Queen Victoria who purchased Balmoral Castle as a result.Edwin became a firm favourite of the Queen and many other members of the British aristocracy for painting portraits of themselves and their animals.His career was one success after another. He turned his hand to sculpture which resulted in the huge stone lions at the base of Nelsons column in Trafalgar Square. He painted exceptional human portraits and some monumental history subjects.He became an Associate of the Royal Academy at just twenty-four and was made a full member in 1830 then aged twenty eight years old. (still one of the youngest ever recorded).He became Royal Painter to the Court in 1836. His works became very popular which led to many engravings of his work (some by his father). This made him extremely wealthy through painting sales and printing royalties.In 1850 he received a Knighthood from the Queen and at the death of Sir Charles Eastlake; the President of the Royal Academy, Edwin was offered the post but declined. In 1855 he exhibited in Paris where he received the Gold Medal. After an extraordinary career he died in 1873 at his home in St. Johns Wood, London.The following year the Royal Academy honoured his career with an exhibition of 461 paintings & sketches.
Works Represented: Royal Collection; Victoria & Albert Museum and many other Museums & Private Collections around the World.
A BLENHEIM SPANIELMR PLUMER'S FAVOURITE DOG SIR EDWIN HENRY LANDSEER RA
This rare breed of spaniel with its distinctive red and white colouring is thought to have been developed by the 1st Duke of Marlborough, hence the name.For examples of the breed see Neville Lyntton's Toy Dogs and their ancestors (1911). At the time the picture was painted, circa 1819, Gilston Park was the residence of a Mr William Plumer (1736 - 1822). Plumer was a man of immense wealth and political influence and in 1781 the English Chronicle described his as, "one of the most opulent country gentleman in the Kingdom… [his] estates in Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk make up clear income of fifteen thousand pounds per annum". With such wealth at his disposal Plumer was able to embark on a vibrant political career, representing Lewes in 1763, Hertfordshire to 1807 and finally Higham Ferres until his death in 1822. In 1820, near the end of his career, Charles Lamb described him as "The fine(st) old Whig still living". The Provenance of this painting can be traced:Royal Academy 1819 No 930 From the hands of William Plumer, to his wife Jane, to her third husband Robert Plumer-Ward and finally to the Duke and Duchess of Montrose who eventually sold the painting by auction in 1894/5 as part of a large collection of property. There is further evidence that the painting sold in 1894/95 is the same as the work exhibited in 1819. The Christies 1894 catalogue entry states the exhibition as provenance as follows: 'Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1819 as "A dog of the Marlborough breed belonging to Mr Plumer".