[The following passage comes from the year-long multi-part article on Landseer's drawings that appeared inthe 1875 Art-Journal. The illuminated L begins this passage in the October 1875 issue. —  George P. Landow.]

Thackeray's decorated initial L

andseer's pictures of animals may be divided into several classes. There is, for instance, the realistic class; by which is meant the dog, or whatever other' animal is represented, as it is ordinarily seen, and without any occupation, so to speak; but within this class may also be placed the dog in action according to his training; that is, in the sporting-field: of this compound class, comprised of natural and educational endowments, the examples are too numerous to require pointing out. Another class is the pathetic, and it shows, as is most desirable it should, only a list of very limited dimensions; but conspicuously in it stand ‘The Random Shot,’ a subject far too painful, one would suppose, to please any spectator with the least feeling of- humanity; ‘The Otter Hunt,’ where the miserable animal is seen writhing in its agony on a spear uplifted by a huntsman; and ‘The Shepherd’s Chief Mourner,’ in the Sheepshanks Collection, than which a more deeply-affecting and poetic monody was never painted on canvas, though the “mourner ” is only a dog; but his heart is with his dead master in the rough coffin whereon the living creature rests his head. A third class of Landseer’s subjects is the humorous; and it is a large one comparatively, for in it must be included many pictures which have, as it were, a droll, as well as a sedate, side; such are ‘Jack in Office,’ ‘There’s no place like home,’ ‘Alexander and Diogenes,’ ‘Laying down the Law;’ but among the decidedly humorous will be placed ‘Comical Dogs,’ ‘The Monkey who had seen the World,’ and ‘The Cat’s Paw.’


J.D. “Studies and Sketches by Sir Edwin Landseer, R.A.” Art-Journal (1875): 97-100. Hathi Trust version of a copy in the University of Michigan Library. Web. 23 March 2014

28 March 2014