The late Sir Edwin Landseer, R.A., from "Illustrated London News"

Various artists/makers

Not on view

Published with a commemorative article devoted to the leading Victorian animal painter Landseer, this wood engraving is based on a self-portrait painted for Edward, Prince of Wales titled "The Connoisseurs" (1865; Royal Collection). The oval frame here crops out two quizzical dogs looking over Landseer's shoulders in the painting. The wood engraver Gardner did not work directly from the canvas, but relied on a 1867 mixed method print after the portrait by Cousins, an example of which is in the Met's collection (62.600.575).

This print and accompanying article demonstrate Landseer’s high estimation in the Victorian art world. His death in 1873 was treated in London as an occasion for general mourning, with flags flown at half mast, blinds lowered, and wreaths placed around the necks of the lions in Trafalgar square. When the artist was buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral, large crowds watched his funeral cortege. His success had been launched in 1818 when Sir George Beaumont purchased "Fighting Dogs Getting Wind" from an exhibition at the Society of Painters in Oil and Water Colours. Landseer soon became a Royal Academician, had works commissioned by Queen Victoria, and was chosen to sculpt the bronze lions that guard Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square. He was considered the leading British painter of animals, showing them in wild landscapes and domestic settings, often within genre-like compositions that suggest anthropomorphized narratives. This wood engraving, published in the "Illustrated London News," uses fine cutting techniques that imitate metal engraving.

The late Sir Edwin Landseer, R.A., from "Illustrated London News", William Biscombe Gardner (British, 1847–1919 Tunbridge Wells, Kent), Wood engraving

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