Artist of the glen: Landseer is celebrated in new show

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The Independent Online

His paintings of Scotland helped promote a love of the Highlands that has persisted until today. Yet Edwin Landseer, the greatest British animal painter of the 19th century, has never been feted with an exhibition of his works in the country he adored.

His paintings of Scotland helped promote a love of the Highlands that has persisted until today. Yet Edwin Landseer, the greatest British animal painter of the 19th century, has never been feted with an exhibition of his works in the country he adored.

Now the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh is presenting more than 80 works, including some paintings that have never been seen in public. Others are world- famous, such as Monarch of the Glen, the imposing image of a stag which was originally intended for the House of Lords but is now owned by the drinks company Diageo.

From portraits of Sir Walter Scott to scenes of traditional Highland life, Landseer produced a somewhat rose-tinted picture of Scotland that became enormously popular in his own lifetime through hundreds of mass-produced engravings and prints.

Richard Ormond, the exhibition's curator, said: "It is an Englishman's view of Scotland. Landseer was really painting this exotic, picturesque, alien place for an English audience, but it's also a view that has remained very potent."

Landseer, born in London in 1802, was a child prodigy who exhibited at the Royal Academy at the age of 13. After his first visit to Scotland, where he met Sir Walter Scott, in 1824, he made annual trips to the Highlands for months at a time.

"Monarch of the Glen: Landseer in the Highlands", opens today at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh and runs until 10 July.

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