About this artwork

The Monarch of the Glen is one of the most famous British pictures of the nineteenth 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 nineteenth century, when it was reproduced in prints, and achieved even greater renown in the twentieth century when it was employed as a marketing image for various products, so endowing it with global recognition.

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  • title: The Monarch of the Glen
  • accession number: NG 2881
  • artist: Sir Edwin LandseerEnglish (1802 - 1873)
  • gallery: Scottish National Gallery(On Display)
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Animals Mountains
  • materials: Oil on canvas
  • date created: About 1851
  • measurements: 163.80 x 168.90 cm
  • credit line: Purchased by the National Galleries of Scotland as a part gift from Diageo Scotland Ltd, with contributions from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Dunard Fund, the Art Fund, the William Jacob Bequest, the Turtleton Trust and through public appeal 2017

Sir Edwin Landseer

Sir Edwin Landseer

Landseer displayed his remarkable artistic skills at a very early age; when he was only twelve one of his paintings was exhibited at the Royal Academy. He excelled at painting animals, often bringing great drama, animation and wit to his portrayals. Landseer's enthusiasm for Scotland prompted annual visits from 1824 onwards, and he combined hunting expeditions with sketching trips. He was Queen Victoria's favourite artist and was honoured with a knighthood in 1850. His most famous highland sporting picture is 'The Monarch of the Glen'.