Victorian painter Edwin Landseer (1802-73) was the foremost animal painter of his day, not to mention Queen Victoria’s favorite. He made his name with The Monarch of the Glen, a stunning portrait of a majestic stag that remains beloved today, as does his other best-known creation: the bronze lions that keep watch at the foot of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.
But Landseer had a more private side as well, and this book offers contemporary readers an unprecedented look at that little-known aspect of his genius. Presenting one hundred and fifty full-color images of Landseer’s “off-duty” drawings, the book offers a surprising and intriguing counterpoint to the grandeur of the artists familiar masterpieces. Working in pen and wash, Landseer sketched these playful, even subversive pieces in his off hours, while staying at the homes of his patrons or on extended holidays in the Scottish Highlands. The resulting artworks reflect that holiday air of freedom from responsibility. Brought together in this beautiful new collection, they will charm art lovers, while substantially broadening our image of Landseer and his achievement.