John Ballantyne's Sir Edwin Henry Landseer    (Frontpage)  (Thumbnail Index)  (What's New)


Sir Edwin Henry Landseer
John Ballantyne - British (1815-1897)
c. 1865
National Portrait Gallery, London
Oil on canvas
80 x 113 cm (31 1/2 x 44 1/2 in.)
Jpg: friend of the JSS Gallery

From: Scott Thomas Buckle
scott bu  c
Date: T
hu, 31 Mar 2005

Landseer is shown working in the studio of  Baron Marochetti on the clay models that he created for the bronze lions in Trafalgar Square. Ballantyne had to withdraw the painting from exhibition in 1865 because Landseer was furious with him - the lions would not be formally unveiled for another two years and Landseer did not wish for them to be displayed (or in any other way recorded) in their unfinished state. Ballantyne later altered the painting so that the lions more closely resembled the finished bronzes cast by Marochetti.

A footnote in Benedict Read's 'Victorian Sculpture'(Yale, 1982) just about sums the whole episode up:

There is a painting by John Ballantyne in the National Portrait Gallery purporting to show Landseer modeling his lions in Marochetti's studio, but it is not entirely clear what exactly he is doing: he is holding his sculptor's tool in the wrong position; thus held it would give the minimum power.

The catalogue of the 1982 Landseer exhibition at the Tate Gallery/Philadelphia Museum of Art gives a full account of the Trafalgar Square commission, but states that Landseer was sharing a studio in Onslow Square belonging to the sculptor Baron Carlo Marochetti. There is no mention of 'the Avenue' by name, but undoubtedly that is where the "lion's den" was situated and not "Brompton Street" as the catalogue also suggests.

The Avenue studios
Fulham Road
(Marochetti's studio
to later be John S Sargent's studio)

Special thanks to Scott Thomas Buckle, of London, a friend of the JSS Gallery, for all his help regarding the research and photos for this page. 


London, Trafalgar Square
(Showing lions)

John Ballantyne's painting of Sir Edwin Henry Landseer was one of a
series painted in the 1860s of artists in their studios. Two others included:

William Holman Hunt

National Portrait Gallery
Oil on canvas
(Thumbnail only)

Sir Francis Grant

National Portrait Gallery
Oil on canvas
(Thumbnail only)


By:  Natasha Wallace
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Created 4/2/2005