Show me:
and
Clear all filters

  • 25 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 25 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 89 items
  • 3,459 items Explore
  • 92 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 42 items
  • 11,020 items Explore
  • 209 items Explore
  • 1,214 items Explore
  • 8,472 items Explore
  • 5,051 items Explore
  • 72 items Explore
  • 128 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 10,594 items Explore
  • 13,094 items Explore
  • 4,620 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 5 items
  • 150 items Explore
  • 2,018 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 4,730 items Explore
  • 24 items Explore
  • 440 items Explore
  • 19,168 items Explore
  • 34 items Explore
  • 1,896 items Explore
  • 1,111 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 5,500 items Explore
  • 455 items Explore
  • 29 items
  • 920 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 8 items
  • 19,087 items Explore
  • 787 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 74 items Explore
  • 33 items
  • 800 items
  • 25 items
  • 61 items
  • 28 items
  • 303 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 44 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 145 items
  • 2 items
  • 7 items
  • 3 items
  • 121 items Explore
  • 119 items
  • 1,018 items Explore
  • 811 items
  • 95 items
  • 27 items
  • 7 items
  • 1 items
  • 26,849 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,841 items Explore
  • 1,529 items Explore
  • 403 items
  • 158 items Explore
  • 9,546 items Explore
  • 9,658 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1 items
  • 39 items
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 6,058 items Explore
  • 5,639 items Explore
  • 4,055 items Explore
  • 1,515 items Explore
  • 929 items Explore
  • 3,479 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 312 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,361 items Explore
  • 20 items Explore
  • 335 items Explore
  • 789 items Explore
  • 1,088 items Explore
  • 511 items Explore
  • 882 items Explore
  • 1,138 items
  • 89 items
  • 126 items Explore
  • 6,949 items Explore
  • 163 items
  • 310 items
  • 7 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 27 items
  • 61 items
  • 300 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,937 items Explore
  • 1,523 items Explore
  • 82 items
  • 43 items
  • 19,430 items Explore
  • 1,222 items Explore
  • 138 items
  • 839 items Explore
  • 32 items
  • 1 items
  • 132 items Explore
  • 24 items
  • 13 items
  • 20 items
  • 3 items
  • 252 items
  • 314 items
  • 841 items Explore
  • 1,897 items
  • 350 items Explore
  • 2,420 items
  • 2,533 items
  • 6 items
  • 3 items
  • 3 items
  • 4,390 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 33,801 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,296 items Explore
  • 273 items Explore
  • 8,049 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 25 items
  • 724 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 65 items
  • 161 items
  • 52 items
  • 21,182 items Explore
  • 915 items
  • 18 items
  • 21,973 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,337 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1,051 items Explore
  • 59 items
  • 499 items
  • 3,289 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 173 items
  • 453 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 21 items
  • 90 items Explore
  • 76 items
  • 289 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 6 items
  • 128 items
  • 294 items
  • 766 items
  • 878 items
  • 1 items
  • 369 items Explore
  • 272 items Explore
  • 11,292 items Explore
  • 748 items Explore
  • 6,276 items Explore
  • 10 items
  • 6,838 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1 items
  • 5,318 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 3,656 items Explore
  • 9,178 items Explore
  • 7,573 items Explore
  • 201 items
  • 19 items
  • 142 items
  • 7 items
  • 1,000 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 4,146 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 4 items
  • 1,096 items Explore
  • 224 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,494 items Explore
  • 20 items
  • 695 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 134 items
  • 3,499 items Explore
  • 13,477 items Explore
  • 2,720 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 8 items
  • 9,278 items Explore
  • 37 items
  • 2 items
  • 21,332 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 38 items
  • 13,098 items Explore
  • 3,308 items Explore
  • 2,131 items Explore
  • 163 items
  • 40,887 items Explore
  • 638 items Explore
  • 415 items
  • 23,308 items Explore
  • 218 items
  • 1 items
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 20 items
  • 30 items
  • 141 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 217 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 13,177 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 10,261 items
  • 9 items
  • 10 items
  • 14 items
  • 25 items
  • 4,542 items Explore
  • 918 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 220 items
  • 700 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 2,280 items Explore
  • 1,657 items Explore
  • 15 items
  • 1,914 items Explore
  • 151 items
  • 83 items
  • 771 items Explore
  • 3,264 items Explore
  • 39 items
  • 22 items
  • 12 items
  • 10,646 items Explore
  • 22,581 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 1,373 items
  • 180 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 8 items
  • 92 items
  • 10,594 items Explore
  • 3,567 items Explore
  • 2,645 items Explore
  • 4,766 items Explore
  • 22 items
  • 45 items
  • 1 items
  • 6,883 items Explore
  • 4,791 items Explore
  • 271 items Explore
  • 2,303 items Explore
  • 2,581 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 1,822 items Explore
  • 53 items
  • 223 items Explore
  • 446 items Explore
  • 5,862 items Explore
  • 8,840 items Explore
  • 1,851 items Explore
  • 5,748 items Explore
  • 3,347 items Explore
  • 10,571 items Explore
  • 86 items
  • 11 items
  • 2,600 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 24 items
  • 51 items
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 2,293 items Explore
  • 620 items Explore
  • 62 items
  • 17 items
  • 151 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 85 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 464 items
  • 9 items
  • 997 items
  • 3,603 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 9,406 items Explore
  • 48 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 42 items
  • 3 items
  • 13,717 items Explore
  • 1,189 items Explore
  • 92 items
  • 10,568 items Explore
  • 1,008 items Explore
  • 1,959 items
  • 6,041 items Explore
  • 21 items
  • 12,949 items Explore
  • 1,386 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 9,561 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 16,148 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,670 items Explore
  • 175 items
  • 58 items
  • 5,734 items Explore
  • 8,522 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 25 items
  • 2 items
  • 59 items
  • 3 items
  • 7,384 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 438 items Explore
  • 13 items
  • 4 items
  • 3 items
  • 6 items
  • 4 items
  • 104 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 5 items
  • 479 items
  • 183 items Explore
  • 8,406 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 23,971 items Explore
  • 7,292 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 26 items
  • 3,461 items Explore
  • 339 items
  • 9 items
  • 326 items Explore
  • 12,667 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 20 items
  • 7 items
  • 4 items
  • 315 items Explore
  • 451 items
  • 184 items
  • 3,640 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1,226 items Explore
  • 2,173 items Explore
  • 732 items Explore
  • 36 items
  • 1,146 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 248 items Explore
  • 71,215 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,063 items Explore
  • 2,822 items Explore
  • 28 items
  • 3,321 items Explore
  • 1,095 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 16,904 items Explore
  • 5,549 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 624 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 468 items
  • 39 items
  • 76 items
  • 29 items
  • 340 items
  • 3 items
  • 41 items
  • 1,177 items Explore
  • 109 items
  • 805 items
  • 32 items
  • 10,719 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 13 items
  • 1,467 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 266 items
  • 16,201 items Explore
  • 78 items
  • 17 items
  • 1 items
  • 10 items
  • 6 items
  • 324 items
  • 2 items
  • 628 items Explore
  • 1,594 items Explore
  • 1,035 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 263 items

Select a time period

Or choose a specific year

Clear all filters

Lady Louisa Jane Russell, Duchess of Abercorn (1812-1905) with her Daughter Lady Harriet Georgiana Louisa Hamilton, later Countess of Lichfield (1834-1913)

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer RA (London 1802 - London 1873)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1834 (monogrammed and dated)

Materials

Oil on slate

Measurements

356 x 254 mm (14 x 10 in)

Place of origin

England

Order this image

Collection

Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire

On show at

Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire, Midlands, National Trust

NT 1271075

Caption

Landseer seems to have snatched up a panel and made this sketch spontaneously, not leaving himself room for the whole of the Marchioness's head. He subsequently began, but never completed, a more elaborate version on copper (Tate). The artist had a uniquely informal relationship with the highest echelons of the Whig aristocracy, but particularly with the 6th Duke of Bedford and his much younger second wife, Georgiana, daughter of the 4th Duke of Gordon. This is just one of a succession of portraits and fancy pictures that he painted of their two youngest daughters.

Summary

Oil painting on slate, Lady Louisa Jane Russell, Duchess of Abercorn (1812-1905) with her Daughter, Lady Harriet Georgiana Louisa Hamilton, later Countess of Lichfield (1834-1913) by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer (1802-1873), signed bottom right: The Doune 1834 E.L. Portrait of a young woman, seated with a baby on her knee, holding a rattle in her right hand.

Full description

According to the sitter's son, Lord Frederic Hamilton: "Landseer preferred painting on panel, and he never would allow his pictures to be varnished .... none of the Landseers my family possess have ever been varnished" (i) Sadly, even if that remains the case, most others have been, including this, which may help to account for their often too glistening appearance. Here, he seems to have snatched up a panel and to have made this spontaneous sketch upon it, without calculating whether or not he would be able to get all of the mother's head in. The panel is too slight to have admitted of enlargement. Instead, the artist subsequently painted two derivatives, an unfinished sketch in the collection of the present Duke of Abercorn ; and another only partially completed painting on copper, in the Tate Gallery, creating a rudimentary setting for the figures, and adding a large bloodhound to the left. It is this last that was engraved by J. Thomson for the Book of Beauty in the same year. The informality of this picture of the Marchioness and her child takes us straight to the heart of Landseer's remarkable relationship with the highest echelons of the Whig aristocracy. The son of a deaf and eccentric engraver, he became the intimate friend of "dooks and doochesses", but without either curbing his difficult temperament or compromising his art; he could not even tolerate being watched when painting, nor would he let anyone see his pictures until they were finished. (ii) The tone of his intercourse with the male members at least of these great families is perhaps best caught by J.G. Lockhart's description of a dinner that Landseer gave for his cronies in 1851: "The dinner was good, but very queer and conceited, a mixture of finery and the fast school ... The only ohter plebeian was Swinton. We had Lords Abercorn, Ossulstone, Mandeville and Ed. Russell, and they all called the knight "Lanny", and he called them "Ossy," "Many," "Ned," Abercorn only "Marquis" - I suppose he being the only one that pays. All dog, and horse, stag, and Queen for talk .... and when I left them at half-past ten, they were all starting for some place where a new American game of rackets is played by gaslight, Lanny and all." Whole albums of ink drawings of society figures, veering in character from quick sketches to caricatures, and some still in the possession of their descendants, including the Abercorns, give a further glimpse of his opportunities for close observation of their sitters. Yet he was an equal favourite with their womenfolk, and even - for a period - with the Queen herself. It was partly a reflection of Landseer's brilliant and entertaining - but ultimately unstable - personality, and partly a consequence of the fact that his art and its subject-matter - dogs, game, hunting, children, and the wild Scottish landscape - caused them no disquiet, but were a familiar and favourite part of their daily lives. What is more, certain of these ducal families, like the painter, had recently discovered the remoteness of the Highlands, where all these things could be enjoyed in conditions of - relative - simplicity, in huts, tents, or simply-constructed lodges, that were the mid-19th-century equivalent of escape to petits appartements, trianons, and ermitages, from the formal constraints of existence at court. Amongst the greatest of these figures, and the closest of Landseer's friends, were John, 6th Duke of Bedford (1766-1839) and his much younger second wife, Georgiana (1781-1853), daughter of the 4th Duke of Gordon, whom the Duke had married in 1803. Landseer was a frequent visitor not just to Woburn Abbey (where he is first recorded in February 1823), but to Endsleigh in Devon, and to The Doune and Glenfeshie in the Highlands. Amongst the pictures that they bought or commissioned from Landseer were portraits of their two youngest sons, Lord Cosmo Russell on his pony Fingall, or The Young Mountaineer (1824, The Duke of Abercorn) and Lord Alexander Russell on his pony Emerald, or The First Leap (1829, Guildhall Art Gallery, London); and his great Rubensian-cum-Snydersian exercise in Border history, The Hunting of Chevy Chase (1825-26, Birmingham City Museums & Art Gallery). Gossip, fanned by her step-children, and biliously recorded by the socially impossible Benjamin Robert Haydon, went so far as to accuse Landseer of having the Duchess, whom he first painted in 1823 for a portrait engraved in The Keepsake, for his mistress, and of fathering her youngest child, Lady Rachel Russell (1826-1898), later Lady James Butler. This last was indeed born five years after her closest sibling. Landseer's mental breakdown in 1840 was also attributed by some to the widowed Duchess's refusal to marry him. But, whereas the Duke, as an 18th-century survival, might perhaps have turned a blind eye to the relationship, because of his own pleasure in the artist's company, it seems less probable that the Duchess's children should have, not least because Landseer was a contemporary of the oldest of them . Rather does the artist always seem to have had the gift of getting on with older women, as witness his relationship with his aunt, Miss Barbara Potts, the Queen's dresser and confidante; Miss Marianne Skerrett, and his guardian once his mind had gone, Mrs. Pritchard. He painted both straight portraits of the two youngest daughters, Lady Louisa and Lady Rachel, and subject pictures using them openly as his models, including Lady Louisa Russell feeding a donkey (drawing of 1825, etched by Jessica Landseer 1826), Little Red Riding Hood (Lady Rachel, 1831, first engraved by J.H. Robinson) [& ?Ly. Louisa R. feeding a donkey (Lenni, p.43)], Cottage Industry (Lady Louisa, 1831, first engraved by F.C. Lewis), Actress at the Duke's (Lady Rachel, 1832, engraved by C. Rolls), Pets (Lady Rachel, 1832, engraved by W.H. Watt; a variant of this was etched as Lady Rachel Russell with a pet fawn by the Duchess, who etched other works by Landseer too), and Twelfth Night (Lady Louisa, 1836, first engraved by J.H. Robinson). Landseer may, however, have felt some attraction to these daughters, and particularly to Lady Louisa. For it is interesting that he, the confirmed bachelor, should have painted not just one, but three versions of this tender maternal study of her, just as he was later to paint a maternal study of 'Loo' - Louisa Stuart Mackenzie, Lady Ashburton, with whom he undoubtedly was in love . Moreover, Cottage Industry , which shows Lady Louisa as a Highland woman crocheting at a window, is in turn related to his painting of A Highland Breakfast (exh. 1834, Sheepshanks coll., Victoria & Albert Museum) , and its associated oil sketches, C.G. Lewis's etching after Landseer of The Highland Mother , and Landseer's drawing of the woman wearing the same cotton cap. The painting shows a Highland woman suckling her child, as a miscellany of dogs, one of whom has three suckling puppies, take their milk from a bowie. The dark-haired Highlander is curiously reminiscent of the Marchioness, and is made finer-featured, and if anything more like her, between the drawing and the final painting. So much so, that one is strongly tempted to wonder whether there was not some transference between the present decorous representation, and the earthier, more natural one in A Highland Breakfast, in Landseer's mind, and whether he did not portray the Highland woman as he would like to have, but could not for reasons of decorum, portray the Marchioness.There are also at Shugborough by Landseer an ink drawing of Lord Hamilton and Lady Harriet Hamilton with a Fortune-Teller (1843), and a coloured chalk drawing of Lady Harriet Hamilton. i) The Days before Yesterday, p.21. On p.19 he says that Landseer had painted five portraits of his mother, but only names the two fancy pictures of her that were engraved, Cottage Industry and The Mask (by which he seems to mean Twelfth Night). Nonetheless, if he does not speak directly of any of the three versions of the present composition, he makes a charming veiled allusion to it in his frontispiece, a photograph of Louisa, Duchess of Abercorn, in her ninety-first year, with her grandson's grandson, Lord Dunglass [who is none other than Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Lord Home!], which is almost a mirror-image of it, seventy years on. ii) Algernon Graves, Catalogue of the Works of the late Sir Edwin Landseer, R.A. [1876], p.18, no.206. iii) Inv. 3008; Graves, ibid. iv) J.C. Horsley, Recollections of a Royal Academician, ed. Mrs. Edmund Helps, 1903, p.276. (adapted from author's version/pre-publication, Alastair Laing, In Trust for the Nation, exh. cat., 1995)

Provenance

James, 1st Duke of Aberdeen (1811-85); by whom lent to RA in 1874); thence to and by descent from the baby represented, Lady Hamilton, who married Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lichfield in 1855; until Shugbourogh, with its park and contents of the state rooms, was offered in part-payment of death-duties to the Treasury, and transferred to the National Trust, following the death of Thomas, 4th Earl of Lichfield (1883 - 1960)

Credit line

Shugborough, The Anson Collection (National Trust)

Marks and inscriptions

Recto: Bottom Right: 1834 (signed and dated) Recto: [?]49

Makers and roles

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer RA (London 1802 - London 1873), artist

Exhibition history

In Trust for the Nation, National Gallery, London, 1995 - 1996, no.26

References

Graves 1876 Algernon Graves, Catalogue of the Works of the Late Sir Edwin Landseer, R.A., London 1876, p. 18, no. 206 Shugborough, 1989 [National Trust; John Martin Robinson] 1989, , no.49, p.70 & col.fig. p.49

View more details