Landseer, Sir Edwin

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Landseer, Sir Edwin (1802–73). English painter, sculptor, and engraver of animal subjects, Landseer was the son and pupil of an engraver. Of precocious talent, he first exhibited at the Royal Academy when he was 13, became ARA at 24, and an academician five years later. In 1865 he declined the presidency of the academy. Engravings of his paintings were made by his brother Thomas and prints from these were widely available, making Landseer the most popular artist of his day. Capitalizing on an upsurge of Scottish Romanticism and a demand for sporting pictures, Landseer painted many Highland subjects, notably The Stag at Bay and The Monarch of the Glen. He also sculpted the lions at the foot of Nelson's Column in London. He was the favourite painter of Queen Victoria, from whom he received a knighthood in 1850, having refused the honour eight years earlier. In 1869 he began to suffer bouts of madness and by his death had become quite insane.

June Cochrane