Sir Edwin Henry Landseer R.A, R.I.
Study of a Rock and Tree
inscribed Sir Edwin Landseer/Sale at Christie’s/Friday 8 May 1874/No.25 Study of Rock/and Tree/39.8 (on a label attached to the reverse)
oil on board
10 5/8 x 14 5/8 in. (27 x 37 cm.)
This work is available for sale at our London gallery.
His Sale; The Remaining Works of Sir E. Landseer, R.A.; Christie’s, London, 8 May 1874, lot 25 (sold to
Anderdon, Grosvenor Street).
Sale; Christie’s, London, 30 May 1879, lot 175 (2½ gns. to Bath).
Private Collection, UK.
A precocious talent, Landseer had first exhibited at the Royal Academy at the age of thirteen. By the time he was twenty, he had already earned a loyal and prestigious host of patrons, including the Duke of Bedford, whose young wife Georgiana was the sister of the Duke of Gordon. By the late 1820s the vogue for highland sports was reaching its zenith, and Landseer, who had initially visited Scotland to make studies of stags, had become a keen sportsman himself. Landseer first visited the Scottish highlands in 1824, as a twenty-two-year-old guest of the Duke of Atholl.
Landseer spent much of his time staying at his aristocratic friends’ houses all over Scotland, in particular with the Duke and Duchess of Bedford on the Glenfeshie estate, and Marquess and Marchioness of Abercorn in their hunting lodge on Loch Laggan in Ardverikie, central Highlands. From an early age Landseer had sketched farmyard animals in the fields running alongside Finchley Road in North London, and had gained a thorough understanding of animal anatomy and behaviour. In Scotland, as well as joining in the pursuit of game, Landseer spent much of his time chronicling the action.
We are grateful to Richard Ormond for confirming the attribution to Landseer (verbal communication, 21 Nov. 2013).