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

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)