Sir Edwin Henry Landseer

Shoeing

exhibited 1844

On display at Tate Britain

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1422 x 1118 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Bequeathed by Jacob Bell 1859
Reference
N00606

Display caption

This picture was commissioned by Jacob Bell who was one of Landseer’s most important patrons. It portrays Bell’s mare ‘Old Betty’. Bell originally wanted Landseer to depict the mare with her foal. However, Landseer repeatedly put off the commission. By the time he was ready to paint ‘Old Betty’ the foal had outgrown its mother. In introducing a donkey into the composition Landseer was using a device popular with many other animal painters, whereby the donkey’s rough coat is contrasted with the sleekness of the horse.

Gallery label, November 2016

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