Sought-after satirical & ‘sporting’ paintings

THE artist Sir Edwin Landseer is most noted for his paintings of animals and for being one of Queen Victoria’s favourite artists. It is unusual to find the works of Landseer in private houses, as most of his paintings are in public galleries or country houses.

His most famous sculptures, of course, are the lions at the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London. It was a treat to find the Landseer painting we have pictured – of a highland pony, stag and hound – which was hanging in a dark corner of a house near Chesterfield, as the owner did not like the picture. It is expected to make £3,000-£5,000 in a forthcoming specialist auction. Sir Edwin Landseer’s (1802-1873) gift for painting animals – and often animals as ‘humans’ – is evident in his painting Trial by Jury, commonly known as Laying Down the Law, which is an oil-on-canvas satirising the legal profession. It depicts dogs in the roles of members of the court, with a French poodle centre stage as the judge. The painting was inspired by a chance comment by a judge, while at dinner with Landseer, that the French poodle belonging to the amateur artist and renowned socialite, Count d’Orsay, “would make a capital Lord Chancellor”…

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