Collection Online

The Earl and Countess of Sefton and daughter, with horses and dogs

oil on canvas
182.4 × 286.2 cm
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1948
Gallery location
Not on display

Remained with the artist until his death, London, 1873; included in the sale of the Landseer Estate, Christie's, London, 8 May 1874, no. 133; from where purchased by Agnew’s (dealer), London; sold to Henry William Eaton (1816–91), later 1st Baron Cheylesmore (cr. 1887); his collection, Cheylesmore Manor, Coventry and Warwick, until 1891; included in the late Lord Cheylesmore sale, Christie's, London, 7 May 1892, no. 40, as Waiting for the ferry[1]; with Leggatt Bros (dealer), London, by 1947; from where purchased, on the advice of A.J.L. McDonnell, for the Felton Bequest, 1947; arrived Melbourne, 1948.


[1] 71 x 112 in, with the description “The portraits were said to have been those of the Earl and Countess of Sefton and Lady Cecelia Molyneux [their daughter].” The painting sold for £220.10.

Exhibited, The Works of the late Sir Edwin Landseer, R.A., Royal Academy Winter Exhibition, London, 1874, no. 256.


Landseer was a fastidious painter widely celebrated for his brilliant portrayals of animals. A popular and successful artist, he was also a favoured portrait painter of the English aristocracy and Queen Victoria, whose dogs, stags and horses he painted. Exactly why Landseer never completed this comission is a mystery – perhaps the client never paid up, or perhaps it is simply evidence of the artist’s interest in and attitude towards his subjects. Fatefully, many years later, a series of disturbing events leading to a mental breakdown left Landseer unable to complete many of his commissions.

—text from Fashion Detective (May 2014)