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This is a version of a portrait Landseer painted in 1834. It was probably painted in 1836, the same year it was engraved for 'The Book of Beauty'. It shows Louisa Jane, wife of the first Duke of Abercorn, with the first of her fourteen children, Harriet, who was born in 1834. The Abercorns were among Landseer's most loyal patrons. He often visited them at their home in Surrey. He also made frequent trips to their hunting lodge at Ardvereike in Scotland. Landseer was an accomplished portraitist. He was also a master of the kind of sentimentality which the 'Book of Beauty' and other annuals specialized in. However, he is now chiefly remembered for his animal paintings.

September 2004