by John Ballantyne
oil on canvas, circa 1865
31 1/2 in. x 44 1/2 in. (800 mm x 1130 mm)
Given by Sir William Agnew, 1st Bt, 1890
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Sir Edwin Henry Landseer (1802-1873), Painter. Sitter in 21 portraits, Artist associated with 54 portraits.
Artistback to top
- John Ballantyne (1815-1897), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 9 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
Landseer is shown in the studio of Baron Marochetti modelling one of the lions for the base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square. This project occupied him on and off for the eight years between 1858 and 1866 and contributed to the ill health which clouded the last ten years of his life. Known for his amusing and sentimental paintings featuring his pet dogs, Landseer is here attended by a collie. The dog is thought to be Lassie, known to have been his constant companion in the studio at this time. The portrait is one of a series of artists in their studios by Ballantyne, exhibited as a set in November 1865.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Funnell, Peter (introduction); Marsh, Jan, A Guide to Victorian and Edwardian Portraits, 2011, p. 11
- Gibson, Robin, The Face in the Corner: Animal Portraits from the Collections of the National Portrait Gallery, 1998, p. 56
- Gibson, Robin, Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery, 1996, p. 93
- Hargreaves, Roger; McCullin, Don (foreword), Trafalgar Square: Through the Camera, 2005 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 13 September 2003 to 28 March 2004), p. 12
- Ormond, Richard, Early Victorian Portraits, 1973, p. 254
- Robin Gibson, Pets in Portraits, 2015, p. 88
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 363
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, pp. 150 - 151
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1865back to top
Current affairsElizabeth Garrett Anderson is the first female to be awarded a doctor's licence. She is also involved in collecting signatures for the Manchester Suffrage Committee, the first suffrage organisation, formed this year. John Stuart Mill was also elected to parliament this year on the platform of women's suffrage.Palmerston dies in October, and is replaced as leader of the Liberal government by his Foreign Secretary, Lord Russell.
Art and scienceLewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland is published, inspired by Carroll's relationship (as Oxford don Sir Charles Dodgson) with his friend Henry George Liddell's daughter Alice.Matthew Arnold publishes the first series of Essays in Criticism, a defining text in the development of English literature as an academic discipline.
InternationalIn the American civil war, Robert E. Lee surrenders the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant, leading to the surrender of the Confederacy's remaining field armies. A few days later, US President Abraham Lincoln is shot dead by Confederate sympathiser John Wilkes Booth. Later this year slavery is officially abolished after years of fierce campaigning. In response, the first branch of the Ku Klux Klan is founded on Christmas Eve.
See this portrait
On display in Room 24 at the National Portrait Gallery