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Landseer was best known as a painter of dramatic or sentimental animal pictures, though he also painted many small landscape sketches such as this. These appear to have been created for his own pleasure, as they were not exhibited, nor were they studies for his larger pictures. Most represented scenes from the Scottish Highlands. This view suggests a fresh and personal view of nature, but one informed by the Sublime landscape painting of the previous decades in showing a scene of still and barren grandeur as the source of awe.

September 2004