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PosterCo Ltd

The Monarch of the Glen - Sir Edwin Landseer - (2) - Framed Picture 16" x 12"


Landseer received a national commission to paint three subjects connected with the chase for the Refreshment Rooms of the House of Lords, for which he produced Monarch of the Glen and two other paintings. Once they were completed the House of Commons refused to grant the £150 promised for the commission, and, as a result, the paintings were sold to private collectors. It has been claimed that the landscape setting shows Glen Affric.

The painting was purchased in 1916 by Pears soap company and featured in their advertising. It was sold on to John Dewar & Sons distillery and became their trademark before similarly being used by Glenfiddich. The painting was then acquired as part of the purchase of Dewar's by Diageo. In 1997 Diageo sold Dewar's to Bacardi but this did not include ancillary assets. Diageo then loaned the painting to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Diageo announced their intention to sell the painting, as they stated it had "no direct link to our business or brands". The National Galleries of Scotland was offered the painting, valued at £8 million, at half this price, if they could raise the required £4 million.

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer RA was an English painter, well known for his paintings of animals—particularly horses, dogs and stags. However, his best known works are the lion sculptures in Trafalgar Square.

Landseer was something of a prodigy whose artistic talents were recognised early on. He studied under several artists, including his father, and the history painter Benjamin Robert Haydon, who encouraged the young Landseer to perform dissections in order to fully understand animal musculature and skeletal structure.

Landseer was a notable figure in 19th-century British art. Landseer's popularity in Victorian Britain was considerable, and his reputation as an animal painter was unrivalled. Much of his fame—and his income—was generated by the publication of engravings of his work, many of them by his brother Thomas.

Queen Victoria commissioned numerous pictures from the artist. Initially asked to paint various royal pets, he then moved on to portraits of ghillies and gamekeepers, Then, in the year before her marriage, the queen commissioned a portrait of herself, as a present for Prince Albert. He taught both Victoria and Albert to etch, and made portraits of Victoria's children as babies, usually in the company of a dog.

In 1858 the government commissioned Landseer to make four bronze lions for the base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, following the rejection of a set in stone by Thomas Milnes.

Landseer's death on 1 October 1873 was widely marked in England: shops and houses lowered their blinds, flags flew at half mast, his bronze lions at the base of Nelson's column were hung with wreaths, and large crowds lined the streets to watch his funeral cortege pass.

Landseer was rumoured to be able to paint with both hands at the same time, for example, paint a horse's head with the right and its tail with the left, simultaneously.

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