• A Pony carrying a dead Stag, a Ghillie and dog beyond -
    Price on request

    Pencil

    17.1 by 23.1 cm., 6 ¾ by 9 ¼ in.

     

    Provenance:

    The Artist's studio sale, Christie's, 8th to 15th May 1874, lot 857, one of two;

    Manning Gallery, London

     

    This study belongs to a group of similar drawings relating to Landseer's oil `Highlanders Returning from Deerstalking’. The painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1827 where it was bought by the 4th Duke of Northumberland and it is still at Alnwick Castle. It was the first of a succession of Highland scenes exhibited by Landseer in the late 1820s and 1830s. His first visit to the Highlands was in the autumn of 1824 and it had a profound effect on his life and his art. He returned year after year in the summer and autumn months and Scotland inspired many of his greatest works. He would stay with a succession of aristocratic families including the Duke of Atholl at Blair Atholl, the Marquess of Breadalbane, and the Duke and Duchess of Bedford at their hunting lodge near Aviemore as well as Walter Scott at Abbotsford.

     

    Deer-stalking became a regular subject for Landseer despite his ambivalence to their killing. He wrote to Lord Ellesmere in 9th September 1837: `There is something in the toil and trouble, the wild weather and savage scenery that makes butchers of us all. Who does not glory in the death of a fine stag? on the spot—when in truth he ought to be ashamed of the assassination.’

     

     For two other studies (now in a private collection), see Sotheby's sale, 6th July 2010, lot 237.
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