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John George Landseer

1 of 2 portraits of John George Landseer

John George Landseer

by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer
oil on canvas, circa 1848
36 in. x 27 3/4 in. (914 mm x 705 mm)
Transferred from Tate Gallery: London: UK, 1919
Primary Collection
NPG 1843


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  • John George Landseer (1761 or 1769-1852), Engraver and antiquary; father of Sir Edwin Landseer. Sitter in 2 portraits, Artist associated with 10 portraits.

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Reportedly 'warm in his temper' and 'not liked by those of his profession', this oil sketch acknowledges his eccentricity while also revealing the strength of the affection between father and son, who later became one of the most famous painters of the Victorian era. Painted towards the end of John Landseer's life and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1848, commentators of the time noted that the picture exuded a 'pathos' that was 'as simple as it was kindly.'

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Current affairs

Led by Feargus O'Connor, up to 50,000 Chartist members meet on Kennington Common, to form a procession and present another petition to Parliament. Although there was a large military and police presence, the rally was peaceful.

Art and science

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood a group of English painters, poets and critics, is founded by John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt, intent on reforming art by rejecting the artists who imitated Raphael and Michelangelo. Instead, they advocated a return to a close observation of nature, invested with the intense detail, colours, and compositions of Quattrocento Italian and Flemish art, producing works layered with symbolism.

International

Following the fall of the French monarchy, revolutions take place in France, Germany and Italy, provoked by a widespread desire for political independence from repressive regimes, and a range of economic problems which had caused unemployment, food shortages and poverty. Louis Napoleon becomes the first President of France's Second Republic.
The first gold rush takes place in America, after gold is found on the Sacramento river, California.

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