Charles Landseer

1799 - 1879

English Animalist Painter

Charles Landseer Biography

Charles Landseer was the son of the engraver John Landseer (1763-1852) and brother of the printmaker Thomas (1795-1880) and painter Edwin (1802-1873). He trained with his father and the history painter Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846) before studying at the Royal Academy Schools in 1816. In 1823 he accompanied Sir Charles Stuart de Rothesay in HMS Wellesley on Rothesayís mission to Portugal and Brazil to negotiate a commercial treaty with Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil. Landseerís drawings of the trip were exhibited at the British Institution in 1828. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1828 until his death in 1879, specialising in romanticised history paintings, particularly subjects from the Civil War, and literary themes such as Clarissa Harlowe in the sponging house, RA 1833 (Tate Britain, London). He also painted portraits, genre scenes and animal studies. Charles was elected ARA in 1837 and RA in 1845. Probably due to the influence of his prodigiously successful brother Edwin, he became Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools in 1851, but was criticised for inadequate teaching and retired on full salary in 1873. A legacy from Edwin allowed Charles to leave £10,000 to the Royal Academy to found the Landseer Scholarships.