About this artwork

The Monarch of the Glen is one of the most famous British pictures of the 19th century; for many people it encapsulates the grandeur and majesty of Scotland’s highlands and wildlife. Here Landseer depicts a monumental and precisely defined ‘royal’ or twelve point stag – a reference to the number of points on its antlers. Many of his paintings show interactions between humans and animals, but in this, his most well-known work, a single emblematic creature is viewed in a moment of exhilaration. It became widely admired in 19th century, when it was reproduced in prints, and achieved even greater renown in the 20th century when it was employed as a marketing image for various products, so endowing it with global recognition.

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Updated September 2023

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  • artist:
    Sir Edwin Landseer (1802 - 1873) English
  • title:
    The Monarch of the Glen
  • date created:
    About 1851
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    163.80 x 168.90 cm; Framed: 199.50 x 204.50 x 13.70 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased by the National Galleries of Scotland as a part gift from Diageo Scotland Ltd, with contributions from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Dunard Fund, Art Fund, the William Jacob Bequest, the Tam O’ Shanter Trust, the Turtleton Trust, and the K. T. Wiedemann Foundation, Inc. and through public appeal, 2017
  • accession number:
    NG 2881
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • glossary:
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Sir Edwin Landseer

Sir Edwin Landseer