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Sir Edwin Landseer
Date: English painter, 1802–1873
Biography: British painter, draughtsman, sculptor, and etcher, best known for his paintings of animals. Landseer gave his animals anthropomorphic qualities, and usually presented within a naturalistic or dramatic narrative context that revealed their personalities. The noble steed, the faithful hunting dog or the mischievous monkey, were typical actors in his paintings. Landseer's work was enormously popular with the public and commanded high prices among collectors, namely Queen Victoria, who commissioned from him a large numbers of paintings, mostly genre scenes and portraits of the royal family and their pets. However, Landseer's career has a meteoric rise and fall, and he succumbed to mental illness and alcoholism in 1873. (Source: Getty)