Sir Edwin Henry Landseer (1802-73) was an English painter, born in London, the son of the engraver John Landseer (1769-1852). Trained by his father to sketch animals from life, he began exhibiting at the Royal Academy (RA) aged only 13. Landseer's popularity in Victorian Britain was considerable and he was widely regarded as one of the foremost animal painters of his time.
In 1824, Landseer went to Scotland for the first time to visit Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). He fell in love with the Highlands, and returned frequently throughout his life. Landseer's romantic vision of Scotland provided the subject for many of his most important paintings, including his early success The Hunting of Chevy Chase (1825-1826) and his more mature achievements such as the majestic stag study Monarch of the Glen (1851).
Although we have been unable to trace an engraving of the present drawing most of Landseer's pictures were well known from excellent engravings by his elder brother Thomas (1796-1800) and the publication of numerous prints won him a vast and devoted popular audience. Reproductions of his works were commonly found in middle-class homes. Yet his appeal crossed class boundaries, for Landseer was also popular with the British aristocracy as well, including Queen Victoria, who commissioned numerous portraits of her family and pets from the artist.
Landseer's death on 1 October 1873 was widely marked in England. He was accorded the honour of a public funeral, and he was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral alongside Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir Thomas Lawrence, and J.M.W. Turner.