Fred R. Kline Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
SIR EDWIN H. LANDSEER (1802-1873)
SAFE IN THE FOREST, circa 1825
Oil on canvas
30 x 24 inches
Collection of the Artist
Auction of works by the late Sir Edwin Landseer, Christie’s, 8 May 1874 London
McClean Galleries, Philadelphia
Norton Gardner Antiques, Cleveland
Bernard Vixeboxxe Collection, Cleveland and by descent [ Note: Other works by Landseer from his estate auction were in the Vixeboxxe collection from the Gardner and McClean galleries. ]
Sir Edwin (Henry) Landseer
Born London March 7, 1802, died London October 1, 1873.
In Victorian England, Sir Edwin Landseer’s fame was widespread and his success and popularity made his name a household word among a broad public following, even enduring a long period of critical neglect. However, Landseer remained one of the most highly respected British painters of the 19th century and his works commanded high prices from collectors, the most eminent of whom was Queen Victoria who commissioned a large number of his works including genre paintings, portraits, and conversation pieces of the royal family and customarily of the royal dogs as well.
Animals were the main subject of Landseer’s art—and with irony, humor and bold invention, he invested them with human characteristics and human behavior. Landseer’s animals possess all the strengths and weaknesses of character associated with humanity and are usually presented within a purely naturalistic or story-telling context that reveals their particular personalities which is often contrasted with their interaction with people. His favorite animal subjects included dogs and monkeys, portraying them in primarily domestic settings, and deer hunting scenes in Scotland. Despite his great skills as a painter of animals and his brilliant renderings of their anatomy, his tendency toward sentimentality and moralizing in his animal narratives—those very qualities which delighted the Victorian public—caused his reputation to dim as that fashion lost its appeal among the critical art establishment and as the Victorian era faded .
Toward the end of the 20th century, Landseer’s artistic fortunes were revived with the1982 retrospective exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (the first in the United States) and at the Tate Gallery in London. Once again the appeal of his paintings began to bring high prices from collectors, notably $2 million at auction in 2003 and many prices at close to $1 million in the 1980s and 1990s. Among Landseer’s most famous and enduring works are “The Monarch of the Glen” depicting a robust stag of the Scottish Highlands and the sculpture “Lions of Trafalgar Square” which are considered icons of the British Empire.
”Sir Edwin Landseer”, Exhibition Catalogue (1982, Philadelphia & London), essays and contributions by Richard Ormand, Joseph Rishel, Robin Hamlyn
"Sir Edwin Landseer", essay by Robert Upstone in “Grove Art Dictionary”;
"Sir Edwin Landseer", biography by Ian Chilvers in “The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art & Artists”.
Sir Edwin Landseer record of paintings and drawings, Kline Art Research Associates
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