A pastel and charcoal head study by the artist most famous for sculpting the four bronze lions that stand at the base of Nelsons Column in Londons Trafalgar Square, sold yesterday for £5,952 in Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions
sale of Watercolours, Drawings and Prints.
The drawing by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer depicts the German artist, Friedrich Wilhelm Keyl, who was famously engaged by Queen Victoria to paint portraits of her dogs. Landseer was a prominent figure on the British art scene in the 19th Century who achieved commercial success and popularity through his paintings of animals. He was also commissioned by Queen Victorian to paint her pets, and it is presumed that this is how he may have met Keyl.
Eventually the Queen commissioned a portrait of herself, intended as a gift for her for her future husband, Prince Albert. Landseer later taught both the Queen and the King how to etch and made further portraits of them both and their children. [Lot 303]
Rivalling the price achieved for this piece, an engraving of Cupid and Psyche by the 16th century Italian engraver Giorgio Ghisi, also achieved £5,952. Ghisi is known as a reproductive engraver, someone who bases their work on other artists paintings. [Lot 387] Elsewhere in the sale a pair of signed Henry Scott Tuke watercolours achieved £4,712. [Lot 347]