Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Landseer, Charles

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LANDSEER, CHARLES (1799–1879), historical painter, born in 1799, was second son of John Landseer, A.E.R.A. [q. v.], from whom he received his first instruction as an artist. He afterwards became a pupil of B. R. Haydon, and entered the schools of the Royal Academy in 1816. When a young man he accompanied Lord Stuart de Rothesay to Portugal, and proceeded to Rio de Janeiro on a mission to negotiate a commercial treaty with Don Pedro I. During this trip he made a number of sketches and drawings, some of which were exhibited at the British Institution in 1828. In this year he sent his first picture to the Royal Academy. ‘Dorothea’ (from 'Don Quixote'). In 1833 he exhibited 'Clarissa Harlowe in the Spunging House,' which was bought by Mr. Mr. Vernon, and is now in the National Gallery, together with the 'Sacking of Basing House,' bequeathed to the nation by Mr. Jacob Bell. In 1837 he was elected associate of the Royal Academy. In 1842 he exhibited ‘Charles II escaping in disguise from Colonel Lane's House,' in 1843 ‘The Monks of Melrose,' and in 1844 ‘The Return of the Dove to the Ark.' In 1845 he received the full honours of the Academy, and exhibited 'The Eve of the Battle of Edgehill,' containing a group of a spaniel and despatch-bags by his brother Sir Edwin, which has since been cut out of the picture. In 1851 he succeeded George Jones, R.A. [q. v.], as keeper of the Royal Academy, an office which involves the duty of giving instruction in the antique school. In 1873 he retired from the keepership with full salary. Between 1822 and 1879 he exhibited 110 pictures—seventy-three at the Royal Academy, twenty-six at the British Institution, and eleven at Suffolk Street. In 1879 he sent three pictures, including a portrait of himself, to the Royal Academy, and he died on 22 July in the same year. He gave 10,000l to the Royal Academy for the foundation of Landseer scholarships.

[Bryan's Dict. (Graves and Armstrong); Catalogues of the National Gallery and South Kensington Museum; Stephen's Landseer in Great Artists Series; Grave's Dict.; Redford's Sales.]

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